Report from Rob Fearnley:
We all enter the New Year flush with enthusiasm and a determination to ‘do’ something with the year and so it was with me in January of this year when I entered a number of races throughout the year to supplement the club focussed events. I was excited about undertaking another half marathon when I entered……but by Saturday June 24th I was not and spent most of the day in Grassington ‘carb-loading’ in the Devonshire Arms and talking myself out of taking on a 13 mile promenade plod the following day.
As it was, a cracking night’s sleep saw me hopping out of bed, jumping into the car and heading along the A65 for the 11am start. During the previous week the organisers had reluctantly changed the route of the race from its traditional Bow shape, taking in Bolton Le Sands, Hest Bank, Morecambe Promenade and Heysham village to a 3 lap charge round Heysham alone. The reason for this change? Morecambe Kite Festival and the fear that a load of runners piling through a bank of gigantic kites would see at least one person getting their feet caught in a string and ending up airborne!
I’m no different to a number of other runners in that I dislike laps intensely – the risk of giving up is far higher when you meet the start/finish on more than one occasion – but I cracked on with gusto and found the conditions pretty much perfect for my liking. It was cool and the Morecambe Bay wind was mercifully light meaning it was easy to get into stride quickly. A wide start on the prom, coupled with a small (but strong) field of around 165, also enabled me to find some space and get comfortable early on.
The wide start soon gave way to a ramp up into Heysham and an undulating loop round the village before a long downhill back to the promenade and a flat charge back to the turn for laps 2 and 3. I was lucky enough to have support from my parents who are now native of Morecambe (they’re Methodist Missionaries bringing the good word to the poor wretches of Lancashire) and they stationed themselves at the far point of the course to provide encouragement and, in my Mothers case, looks of anguish and concern that I was about to collapse in a heap!
‘Refreshment’ was requested on the final loop, with 4km to go and my Dad dutifully handed over a bottle of Thwaites Wainwright as I careered over the line in an unexpected PB of 2:04 :13. Note to self for next time? Shurrup whinging and just get on with it. Kudos to the folks from Lancaster Race Series who put on great race (the Morecambe 10k 3 weeks previously was also excellently run) and put on some other great events throughout the year. Check them out here.