Competing in the HDRSL handicap for the first time, I was looking forward to running at Ripon in order to complete the series.
Handicaps are not my favourite runs, that feeling of being hunted down does nothing for my nerves, but a sunny evening, a highly recommended buffet and a bottle of beer for the first 250 runners was enough to spur me on!
All very relaxed at the start until I was admiring Lisa Maughan’s pinless number clips and realised I’d forgotten to wear my number!
Warned that I might not be able to run (let alone collect a finisher’s beer) I nipped over to the starters and attempted to beg a pen or make my plight known. Thankfully, a Ripon lady who was due to be on the finish took pity on me, as long as I didn’t come in with a load of other runners!
Set off at a steady pace and quickly lost one of my fellow runners. After about a mile or so, saw Joanna Hobson running ahead and made her my first target.
Trudged up the hills and continued to pass others from different clubs. As we approached the field, I caught glimpse of Sean O’Halloran and decided to see if I could catch him too.
I began to start thinking that I could perhaps be the first OAC member to finish. Were there any more ahead? Maybe I should content myself with being the first female.
With a rallying cry of ‘Forza Antonio!’, I trotted past him and focused on getting around the last part of the course. I’d been warned in advance about the loop of the field at the end, but no one mentioned going through a gap into what seemed to be yet another field and then woods too; when was the ordeal going to end?!
I’m usually a bit too lazy to push myself out of my comfort zone, but here I was wheezing and making funny noises – surely, I had to be nearly there?
David Cattanach was the last scalp to be had and then it was just a matter of digging deep. As the finish flag FINALLY appeared (and there were no further nasty jokes around it) I saw a guy at the side shouting ‘sprint now! Overtake her!’. Unfortunately, it wasn’t aimed at me and the girl who started off at the same time and with whom I’d played a game of leapfrog throughout, came dashing past.
Not sure what happened to my Asda sprint, perhaps I need to invent a summer version, but I was just glad to be finished. Also managed to avoid admonishment for my lack of number by coming in alone!
I was a bit confused as to how Colin Best, sitting at the finish, had managed to overtake me without me knowing, until I found he’d pulled up with an injury. Pleased to be first Otley AC back and enjoyed a fine buffet tea afterwards! (Though Swaledale still wins the overall food trophy in my mind!)
The winner was Bev Davies (Thirsk) in a handicap time 64:48 (56:18) and the first male in third place was Russell Gregory (Harrogate) in 65:10 (40:40).
Otley results were:
Laura Hind 17th in 67:13 (46:13), Phil Robinson 20th in 67:26 (43:56), Lisa Maughan 21st in 67:27 (44:57), Mick Jeffrey 26th in 67:38 (42:38), David Cattanach 30th in 67:41 (50:11), Sean O’Halloran 49th in 68:20 (51:50), Andrew Robertshaw 64th in 68:33 (33:33), Joanna Hobson 83rd in 68:46 (49:16), Dominic Egan 86th in 68:49 (42:49), Laura Liddell 103rd in 69:06 (47:06), Nicola Lee 104th in 69:08, (43:08), Antonio Cardinale 107th in 69:13 (58:13), John Cowan 151st in 69:42 (42:12), Andrew Raynor 154th in 69:45 (44:45), Simon Toyne 159th in 69:48 (36:48), Mary Hampshire 169th in 69:57 (43:27), Gilly Wright in 189th 70:34 (46:34) and Stephen Boddy 195th in 71:02 (42:32).