3 Lakes Classic – 15 Miles – 15th June 2019
Report by Andrew Pembroke
The 3 Lakes Classic race has been put on over the years by Killamarsh Kestrels, starting and ending at Rother Valley, and circling Treeton Dyke and Ulley Reservoir. As it’s the closest race to my house, I’ve always felt a guilt-ridden obligation to enter, but have never got as far as the start line (or even the entry form), for 3 reasons:
- The route was 15 miles, which is further than I’ve raced before;
- There was a reasonably long hill (for me) up to Ulley part-way through (too far from the start to feel fresh, too far from the end to be able to use up the last of the reserves); and
- Even for June, it always seems to be held on the hottest day of the year – I’m not built for warm weather.
It seems as though Killamarsh Kestrels went out their way this year to overcome my reluctance – the route was changed from using Ulley as “Lake 3” to the newly formed Lake Waverley, removing the hill and about a mile of the race distance, and they seemed to have found a way to teleport the race to a mild, overcast March morning. On that basis, I felt I had to enter this year.
The race sets out with 3/4 of a lap of Rother Valley – the similarity to Parkrun required some focus to remember that it wasn’t a 5km effort. The route then follows the River Rother through Woodhouse Washlands, before a well-marshalled crossing of Retford Road and the second water station. I was grateful at that point of the encouragement of my children, my wife Vicki and some of her clubmates from Strideout Aston and their families.
It was then onto Treeton Dyke. I was at this point that the trail shoes finally came into their own. As I headed towards Lake Waverley, I started to see some of the front runners heading back towards me – which I quite like in some ways. The going was quite soft around Lake Waverley, and it feels quite open at the moment, and still looks like a man-made feature, but think it will settle in over a few years as trees and hedges establish.
At this point the route goes more-or-less back on itself (albeit down the opposite side of Treeton Dyke), via more high-5’s at the water station, back through Woodhouse Washlands and into Rother Valley. At this point you do ¾ of an anti-clockwise lap of Rother Valley (which just feels wrong) – I managed to up the pace here to pick up a few places before the end.
Once over the line, you get your race mug (and some sweets) in a goody bag and drag yourself into the cake tent – which was simply amazing. My favourite was the lemon cake, but they all looked good, and were washed down with sugary tea in the new mug.
As I’ve never run the original route (the “Classic 3 Lakes Classic” or “3 Classic Lakes Classic”?), I can’t compare the routes, but was happy not to run on open roads, which I understand was a driver for the change. I enjoyed it (as much as you can enjoy these things) and will do it again. Killamarsh Kestrels were as ever very welcoming, and the marshalling was great. It was noted though that the route goes around 5 lakes, not 3 as per the name.
20 Striders completed the race, with Sian Evans first strider home, and 1st female overall. The prizes were unconventional – a selection of secateurs, shears and a bow saw to choose from. I can only hope that some of the winners use them to take about a foot off the hedges overhanging the paths around Treeton Dyke. I had to do quite a bit of ducking.
|9||74||Sian Evans||01:34:29||Female||1st Place Female|
The 1st Male was Alan Ford of Barnsley Harriers, in a time of 1:26:36. As above, Sian Evans was 1st Female and 1st Strider in a time of 1:34:29.
Full results can be found on the following link: https://killamarshkestrels.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/3-lakes-results-15-jun-2019-1.pdf