We go the extra mile

Sunday was the day of the Christmas Cracker. We did this race last year, although I don’t think we blogged it. The 8 mile fell race starts at Tittesworth Reservoir and goes up the Roaches, before returning on the road. The defining feature of the race is that fancy dress is almost compulsory. Our running club, the Peel Road Runners had gathered up momentum for this event and about 15 of us were registered to run.

The Midlands was mostly devoid of snow, that was until about 2 miles outside of Leek, where snow began to fall.
We made it to the event relatively easily, however about half of our club mates were not so lucky and ended up arriving about 15 minutes after the start!

The race itself was to go ahead, however the 8 mile route over the Roaches was amended to a 5 mile amble around Tittesworth Reservoir! Not exactly what we had signed up for! Nevertheless, excitement was guaranteed by the fact that in the rush to change the course, one path junction was left unmarshalled which meant that most of the race went the wrong way! When people started to realise, runners turned round in a mexican wave like formation and began to run in the opposite direction. People’s faces were a picture when they saw fellow competitors running back where they came from! Further hilarity ensued when a path constriction was reached and the race came to utter deadlock with people in mid-turn!

Following this mayhem, the race returned to some normality and actually turned out to be quite pleasant. After finishing we felt a little short changed on distance, so we ran the 5 mile course a second time, which confused the marshalls greatly. This extra run was nice, however it did mean that we missed all of our fellow club members who went home, instead of completing a second lap. We enjoyed cake in an empty cafe and then returned home. Richard came 3rd M40 and I came 5th open female… Although I’m not entirely sure what the placings mean as half of the runners added an extra half mile or so.

Cake has featured quite a lot this weekend, so I’ll give a quick run down.

Friday; Birthday cake at work – My friends made me an amazing contaminant hydrogeology themed cake. Three layer cake, jam between middle and bottom layer represents dense non-aqueous phase trichloroethene on limestone, upper two layers represent superficial deposits. A borehole was dug in the cake and the core was layed out on the top. A lorry, represented the BGS mobile lab (Mobile Environmental Laboratory – MEL) and the fimo person is me, with my VOC detector. How cool is that!

Saturday: Moose biscuits; for the Harlequin Orienteers Christmas party on Saturday

Sunday: Post-race cake in the cafe!

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