A lovely looking, sunny day in South Yorkshire saw 428 runners take on the Norton 9 Miles. Largely because of the recent weather and the relocation of parking, there was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing between registration and cars and back to the start and, to those who hadn’t run it before, it wasn’t entirely clear where the start and finish were (which COULD be a problem!) but other than that, it was well managed and very friendly. I say ‘lovely looking..day’: it was – but very cold and windy though I guess we should expect that now – and it didn’t rain!
It’s a road race through country lanes and villages over undulating ground with very little car traffic and good marshalling. There seemed to be a fair amount of downhill in the first 5.5 miles but it must have been an illusion because whilst there were a couple of longish uphill pulls after that, they weren’t as steep or long as expected. The biggest problem was the wind – you seemed to be going well and then hit a wall of wind without changing direction. But it’s the same for everyone.
Not having done any more than 7 miles for a good couple of years I wasn’t sure how I’d go so was reasonably happy (at my age and ability!) with my 1:19:00. That said, I suspect it’s a reasonably quick course for those who know and the winners did (to me) quite remarkable times of 49:12 (M) and 56:45 (F). That’s 5.5 minute miles over 9 miles which I at least find fantastic.
M 1. Gareth Sampson 49:12
- Gareth Cooke 49:23
- Wes Taylor 50:37
F 1. Jenny Buck 56:45
- Sarah Hunter 58:09
- Alice Smith 59:35
Four Otley runners all looked happy after the race: Martin Gaskin (1:19:00); Hayley Galvin (1:21:44); Laura Oliver (1:22:21); Billy (1:29:43).
(The finishers’ tee shirts are very small!).