On Thursday night (9th May) Stoke F.I.T. tackled the Mow Cop Killer Mile. Most were daunted by the prospect of running up hill for a solid mile. Quite rightly you might think; if you have seen the route, especially the last 1/4 of a mile, which sees runners go through all sorts of personal battles with the 25% gradient!!
But all the hard work that the guys put in both in training and at circuit training, and the new way of positive thinking that is rife at the club paid off!!
The first race saw the next generation of Stoke F.I.T. runners – Cian Barnsley aged just 12 a bit apprehensive to start. In fact, at the beginning he was standing on the start line chewing his nails through worry and was on the phone to somebody being calmed down. It was quite funny to see him spring into life when the race started unexpectedly a few seconds later- he just put the phone down and sprinted off!! Once he had finished he was absolutely buzzing and even joined in again and ran alongside his mum in her race!!
Next up was the first adult race with Dave McGuire and Carl Loforte toeing the line witing for the whistle! When they got the go ahead they were off like rockets and soon disappeared out of sight round the first bend at the front of the pack! I didn’t get to see the race but can imagine how intense it was!! Dave took a very early lead and managed to hold it all the way in, winning his race in 8:58 with a 29 second lead over his next rival!!! Next in in 4th place was Carl Loforte in a fantastic time of 9:51!!
The second adult race saw Gregg Boughey storm off the start line, straight into position in the lead pack, and battled from the off to hold a fantastic 6th position! I remember standing on the side-line actually feeling sick for Gregg after seeing how hard he was battling up the hill!! He finished in an awesome time of 9:13! Not far behind Gregg was the ever smiling Liz Seadon! How on earth anybody can smile whilst putting themselves through that is beyond me, but yet again, Liz didn’t fail to impress!! As she came past me on the steep bit she even gave me a bit of her twinkle toed magic and skipped up the hill past me!! Liz finished in a brilliant 17:48 and managed to keep hold of her position in 128th!
I passed over my gear and took a gentle run down to the beginning to wave off Claire Barnsley in her race, but as I got to the bottom and the start line I found out that they were combining the next two races together to save time, so no sooner as I had fought through to the front the claxon had sounded! I went off and clung to the front few leaders and slowly worked to pick them off one by one. As I came up the hill, the crowd were fantastic, all I could hear was cheers for Stoke F.I.T. which spurred me on even more – perfect when you feel like you’re dying!! I saw Gregg at the top of the hill just when I needed to and he gave me all I needed to power through the last few hundred metres! I finished in 2nd place in a time of 8:44. Next up was Sami Munden-Griffiths, ever cheerful, bounding up the hill as if it didn’t exist and charging home in a time of 15:21 to put her 106th!! Not far behind Sami was Claire Barnsley in 15:26 giving her a fantastic 109th position! A blink of an eye later and next was Claire Barlow, skipping up the hill, only stopping to change the music on her ipod as usual and crossing the line 21 seconds later to grasp on to 115th position!
A massive night for Stoke F.I.T. with 2 podium places and a 4th and 5th to boot!!
Massive, massive respect to everybody who turned up and laced up their trainers and contributed to an amazing night!!
The race of the day goes to Dave McGuire! Not only did he work hard to take the lead, he fought and fought not only to keep his lead, but also to open the gap to an impressive 29 seconds between him and 2nd place. It’s hard enough getting to the front, but once you’re there the task then becomes staying there!!
Well done Dave, and well done Stoke F.I.T. 🙂