The now established 30 minute challenge followed the usual format, route decided upfront by Matt, start at 12:15:00 by the Bollard. Run as far as you want, but at some point you need to turn around and head back. If you fail to get back inside 30:00 you are not given a distance.
The route was the clockwise handicap, with the slight adjustment that, if you get far enough, you don’t turn down the path on Upton Lane, but carry on up the road to join Romsey Road – this is really only a change that the fastest runners have to be aware of.
With a few of the participants having run Netley Abbey 10k on Sunday there was something of a lethargic feel at the start and more than a couple of runners hoping to ‘run into it’ on the course. This wasn’t a problem Dean suffered from though, as he charged away from the rest of us, pursued by Ian Robinson, Mark Aston and then a group of Karen, Ian S, Keith, Matt and Luc, which gradually fragmented.
As always on a hilly course – with most of the out leg being uphill, the choice of when to turn around is crucial. First to crack was Mark Aston at 14:30 – which made me (Matt) double take – had I misread my watch – thankfully not. Talking to runners afterwards most people bailed at around 15:10 – 15:20 and relied on the downhill start to the return leg to pick up some pace and find the 20-40 seconds they needed to get back inside the cut off.
Given the majority of runners seemed to arrive back between 29:15 and 29:45 it would suggest that we could all push the limits a bit more on the way out, but it would take a brave runner to turn after 15:30 and get back a whole minute or more quicker than the outbound leg.
Today there was only 1 runner who failed to make the cut off – poor Ian Smith who finished around 15 seconds late. He turned at the same point as me (Matt) and about 2 seconds later so I was surprised to see he didn’t make it back.
Prize for getting the most out of the course goes to Tim, who made it home with 2 seconds to spare.
Congratulations to Dean who ran the furthest today – 7.44km, or getting to Romsey Road, which is a huge achievement and 220 metres further than he managed last time on the same course. Also congratulations to Jules and Luc who ran further than they have before in the 30 min challenge.
Further congratulations to Karen and Matt, who following Di’s DNS are the only 2 remaining ‘ever presents’ at this challenge.
Thank you also to Jon RB, Baz and Naomi for helping out at the event. Naomi even taking a video of us finishing – although sadly her battery ran out before we saw Ian stroll home in disgrace (joke).
Finally, the event was a chance for the outstanding prizes from the club championships to be awarded – Most Improved Runner to Luc Mathew (presented by the outgoing holder, Rachael) and Dedication Award (for the person who attends the most club events) to Ian Robinson, presented by Chairman, Baz.
Next time (3 July) I am going to spice things up by running a new course, but also making it a ‘no devices’* run, so you will have to guess when 15 minutes is up (assuming you wish to turn then). I will make it a little easier by running the course before hand and giving you an indication as to where each KM or mile marker are.
If you are wondering how ‘no devices’ will work when you need to measure your distance, it will be ‘no visible devices’ – there’ll be tape at the start line