The mile. The classic running challenge: human vs the clock… Bannister… The Oslo Golden Miles… Coe, Ovett, Cram… A fascination for so many over the years, yet a challenge never taken up by Knaresborough Striders – until now! Whilst mutters of ‘per mile’ can oft be heard throughout our training runs and races, very few of our members had ever actually challenged themselves over a single mile.
Inspired by some of our runners’ personal exploits, our inaugural ‘St. Robert’s Rush’ took over 50 of our members along the beautiful and tranquil Abbey Road, beginning above our famous saint’s cave, following the River Nidd upstream and finished beneath the crag a few hundred metres short of the Half Moon. Setting off in three waves (roughly aligned with our normal groups) along the winding and undulating route, this time-trial produced some scintillating performances, very close battles and an electric atmosphere as the runners charged towards those already gathered at the finish line.
In our first wave of runners, erstwhile jog group leader and Z2H mentor Mark Shelton was first across the line in a fleet 7mins 31seconds, chased in by June Graham (breaking 8 minutes) in a tremendous 7:57 and Fiona Sleight in 8:09. With several new members and recent Z2H graduates in this wave, an average time of just 9:18 showed the incredible progress being made.
Our second wave of competitors was formed mostly of our intermediate runners and proved highly competitive! Jez Wilkinson showed that a lack of recent time-trial experience was no problem, as he raced home in 6:26, just ahead of an equally racy Guy Marshall in 6:33, whilst Emma Hepworth and Kathryn Pickles battled it out for 3rd in 6:39 and 6:40 respectively. Our Striders were clearly pushing on now, with a wave average time of just 7:23.
Finally, with increasing numbers of runners gathering at the finish, breathlessly recalling their exploits, our third wave headed away from the start line. For many, this flew past a lot sooner than they had expected! Tom Calvert was first back – and fastest of the night – in a mind-blowing 5 minutes 4 seconds, whilst James Warburton kept him firmly in sight throughout, breaking the tape in just 5:10. There followed a mighty battle for third, with a pack of 5 coming into sight of the finishing funnel. Places changing right to the end, James Ireland took a very well-earned third in 5:21, just holding off the efforts of Martin Brock (also 5:21) and Steve Morland (5:22). With the entire third wave covered by a mere 2 minutes, their efforts resulted in an incredible average time of 6 minutes exactly!
With all the times in the bag (or rather stuck on the board) many of the runners decamped to the nearby Mother Shipton Inn to swap tales of their battles, ponder where those vital seconds were lost and gained, and consider whose elbows were the sharpest. New targets have been set and it will be interesting to see how performances compare the next time around.
The full results are detailed below, but not before giving MASSIVE THANKS to our marshals, volunteers and organisers, without whom the evening would never have happened.
A fantastic range of photographs from the night were taken by our member Emma Greveson and can be viewed via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/egrevesonphotography/posts/599316163775529 or on Emma’s fab site at https://www.flickr.com/photos/greveson/
Very well done to all involved!
St Robert’s Rush – 1 mile Time Trial – Inaugural Event, 22nd May 2018
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