Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Cornalees Hill Race

Results | Activity on Garmin Connect

My 6th Cornalees Hill Race in a row.  Arriving early at the Glenpark Harriers clubhouse on the strangely-named Orangefield, I had time to inspect the trophy whilst waiting for the majority of runners to arrive.

Last year, in 2011, Westies' own David Riach proved victorious after I gave him a good fast lead out at the start. Prior to that, Glenpark's demon descender Andy McCall had won the Cornalees title 6 years in a row. But with David on the other side of the world in Brisbane, and Andy McCall not around either, there was a guaranteed new name on the trophy this year.

Cornalees Hill Race Route
It was fairly obvious from the start who would win the race, as 28 seniors lined up in cold and grey conditions. After leading for the first 50 metres or so, Shaun Lyon came trotting past, and continued you to trot away further into the distance on the climb. My main challenge for 2nd place came from Stevie Campbell and Christina Rankin, both who passed me just after we crossed the Greenock Cut.  Once the angle eased slightly I nipped back in front and tried to drive the pace up the big track, not sure whether pushing on I might be able to drop Stevie. As we crested the first main climb, I asked Stevie how he was, trying to gauge how hard he was working.

We broke off the path together and into the tussocks, but as soon as we hit the abrupt little pair of climbs, Stevie suddenly just bounded away from me. And in fact I felt so sluggish on the final climb around the cairn that I realised Christina was right on my tail again.

I tried to open a small gap on the run back to the main track, but wasn't sure whether I'd dropped her, and didn't want to keep on checking behind, so I tried to keep pressing on but my chest and stomach were tightening with a stitch so I was finding it hard to breathe and keep up any momentum.

I knew that if I got to the 90 degree lefthand turn with being passed, I would definitely open it up from there on the nice grassy final run in.

So I finished 3rd in 35:27, which was only 11 seconds slower than last year, so not too bad.  I saw that Stevie Campbell didn't look too happy at the end, with perhaps a sprained ankle. I hope he is doing OK, and thanks again to Stevie McLoone and Glenpark Harriers for hosting the event!

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