2012 blew in with some pretty strong winds and the promise of some pretty wild weather. Thankfully bank holiday Monday had different ideas – the skies were clear (at least in Sandbach) and conditions looked chilly but good for racing. An hour or so later on arrival in Catforth a bit of a keen breeze had somehow got itself going and the clear skies were now rapidly filling up with threatening clouds. Due to some rather heavy rain in the days preceeding the race the plans for parking on the nearby school field had had to be dropped – perhaps a good thing as soft ground and cars never mix well! Sadly this change of plan meant that we all had to park on the nearby lanes which for those who like to leave it late (that’s me!) meant a good mile ‘warm-up’ walk to the race HQ!
The first mile or so of the race wound its way through narrow country lanes before we re-entered the village of Catforth before turning away from the race HQ up onto a B road heading towards Inskip. It was on these open lanes that the rather “keen” winds first introduced themselves. After about 3 miles the race then turned South West – running pretty much straight into the now rather keen winds with no protection for about 4 miles to the village of Treales where the race turned again and started to wind its way back towards the race HQ. After a few more twists and turns, and several (deceptively tiring) crossings of the quiet but windy M55 the race the race took a final fairly sharp turn to reveal (at last) the finish line in sight. One final push and i had a medal round my neck and a kit kat and a bottle of mineral water in my hand.