The race has 10 legs of varying distances from the shortest at 5.4 miles through to the longest being 11 miles. Our team was mainly comprised from the group of regular Sunday runners, and as such were definitely not going to be challenging those at the front of the race, however I can genuinely say that each of those participating gave it their all.
Neil handed over to Debbie Tank/Nic Plumridge (with Debbie as the scorer), who took on the really hilly 6 mile leg from Wendover to Princes Risborough, tackling the significant climbs up Coombe Hill and the even steeper ascent from Caddesdon to the finish. Debbie and Nic ran really well for a time of 64 mins with the team now in 30th position.
Debbie handed of the Mel Folkard who ran the 9.4 leg to Lewknor in 83 min to put us in 32nd place, this was commendable as Mel was recovering from a spell of “Man Flu” earlier in the week.
Mel handed over to Heidi Folkard for the run to Swincombe Church, who, in spite of all her protestations that she wouldn’t be able to run any faster than 10 min a mile pace, managed to complete her 5.4 mile leg in 47 mins at a fantastic pace (8.47 pace!) to regain two places and 30th position.
Heidi handed over to Ashley Holmes for the Leg to South Stoke, who, despite a minor wobble in his navigation of the route brought us back to 22nd place with a fantastic run in a time of 74 min for the 10.1 mile leg (7.16 pace).
Ashley handed over to Jason Trimmer, who only joined our club 4 weeks ago and took up the challenge of running leg 6 (another hilly ascent being that out of Goring and Streetly). Jason was a speedy last-minute addition and ran his Leg of 9.1 miles in a very creditable tome of 59 mins to put us in 21st place.
There was a mass start of leg 7 at 1400 hours. Declan Fahy ran this 9.1 mile leg (predominantly uphill and into a stiff headwind) in a creditable time of 85 mins to leave the team in 23rd place.
Declan handed over to Alex Pepper for leg 8. The fairly docile weather conditions at this point took a turn for the worse, giving Alex windy, squally showers to contend with. Alex completed his 7.8 mile leg in 69 mins to leave the team in 24th place.
Alex handed over to Steve Field for leg 9 - 10.7 miles of difficult terrain with two serious climbs, finishing at Burbery Castle (which affords fantastic views of the local countryside). Steve was also hampered by a headwind, but at least it had stopped raining. Steve ran his Leg in 94 min to leave the team in 25th place.
There was another mass start at 1745 hours for leg 10 for those teams not to have completed leg 9 by that time (we missed it by about 20 mins). Tony and I ran this leg (Tony was initially to be our scorer but had twinged his back earlier this week – leaving me to be the scorer). I’d like to say that I ran a storming leg, but this was not the case, I was ok for the first 6 miles of the 9.4 miles, but then ran out of steam finishing in 90 mins to leave the team in 28th place. A mere 2 hrs 45 mins behind the winners Oxford City.
Overall the team did really well, a great time was had by all, especially those that stopped for lunch at the Perch and Pike at South Stoke where Sue/Roger, Tony/Merrin, Mel/Heidi, Debbie/Nic, Ashley were joined by Richard Abraham (who organized our first team in 2012).
Thanks to all those who ran and helped out for the year’s Ridgeway Relay – we’ll do it all again next year.