Race Date: Sunday 17th February 2019
Not all Striders were on a bus to Leicestershire on Sunday morning. Some that didn’t fancy multiple laps of an airfield and solar farm decided to head up to Wombwell for what was billed as ‘the last time it will be hosted by Wombwell Athletics Club’. Turned out this wasn’t going to be the last running of the race ever as it will carry on next year but in the hands of another club (Kingstone I think?).
Anyway, it was a toned-down affair this year with no on the day entries and no organised parking. Apparently, someone had tried to contact the local school nearby but they never got back in touch.
There was a last minute plea for marshals on the Facebook page the night before and it was obvious the club were a bit stretched in putting this on. Despite this race HQ was really well organised and the course was the same as the last few years. It starts with a lap of a local go-kart track (yes, we were all trying to take the racing line) followed by a steepish hill up to and around a residential area followed by a nice downhill decent back to the go-kart track for a lap and a half to complete the race. At least that was the plan.
Sadly, the plan went a bit wrong as the lead car took a wrong turn and managed to shave 0.6 miles off the route. It became obvious to some regulars at the point of going wrong, around 2.5 miles, but I only worked this out a km from the finish when I worked out I’d only be covering about 7km out of the 8km required. There’s nothing like knowing a race is short to demotivate your strong finish and make you give up early. After all who cares about a 4.4 Mile PB?
Some interesting defences of the organisation were posted on the Facebook group. My favourite was around the lead car going wrong. Some quotes were:
“All the lead runners know the course so could have not followed the Lead Car then the car would have realised and leapfrogged them.”
“Lead car was driven by someone for the first time and yes, they should have been given better information about the route…Could have been avoided by a sat nav or a passenger who knew the route very well.”
Rather annoyingly no-one seems to have said ‘sorry’ which is sometimes all people want to hear in these situations. We know these things happen and running clubs are generally supportive of each other. In hindsight they’re not a big deal but a sorry does go a long way.
Anyway, the results will go down in history as the first (and hopefully last) Wombwell 4.4. Good luck to next year’s club bringing on a new era of Wombwell 5’s.
The race was won by Scott Hinchcliffe of Penistone Footpath Runners in 22:27. First female was Rachel Friend of Leeds City AC in 25:46. 2 Striders flew the flag whilst everyone else seemed to be in Leicestershire.
- Michael Richardson Steel City Striders RC M40 28:23
- James Ogden Steel City Striders RC M40 28:46