Great turnout at Dave Crompton’s Memorial Race

To my chagrin I didn’t make it – a combination of flight cancellations and family illness. Apologies were also proffered by Tony Bell and Chris Harvey. It’s lovely to see all the usual faces, together with very welcome presence of Christine Pearce and my opposition in our youth from the 1960s, David Lamb.

As ever Dave Evans reports:

A larger than expected field turned out at today’s race in memory of one of the club’s most stylish walkers and to complement this show of affection for a friend lost the weather was very kind.

Unlike other club events, it was decided to start everyone at the same time which produced some interesting results with quite a few aspirants having a chance to “medal”. The opening mile saw Adrian Edwards in full command ticking through in 10 mins 22 seconds having negotiated the real roller coaster of the opening section of the course. In his wake were Ian Hilditch with an astonishing 10 mins 52 and Sailash Shah in 11 mins 22.  The main pack were not too far behind the leading three with all bar one dipping under 12 mins 23.

Adrian Edwards in command
Ian Hilditch surprising the officials
Sailash Shah- a study in concentration

 Being an out and back course meant some leg sapping ascents but equally leg testing descents. Most club walkers are hardy souls and rise to the challenge of big ups and downs. At the 3 and a half mile point Eric Horwill reminded them of their midway times and it was clear that some of the more genteel starters were beginning to close on their adversaries. Quite a few were destined to record negative splits. Adrian reached halfway in 38 mins 50 seconds and both Eric and I had to rub our eyes when Ian Hilditch came into view only 73 seconds adrift. Glyn Jones was sticking to his task particularly well and seems to be recovering from his recent back problems. In practice, this is not a course to help such a condition but nevertheless, he raced on. Hot on the heels of Glyn was a trio of “youngsters” but as the final results showed they lost time on the homeward stage.

Glyn Jones with Roy Gunnett in pursuit
Steven Wilde
Phil McCullagh with Joe Hardy in tow
Greg Smith in black

The final 1 mile of the race involves two long climbs and one steep descent and officials are sometimes very surprised when the walkers come into the finish in a different order than that predicted. On this occasion Steven Wilde, a newcomer to the club produced a strong final couple of miles and took 4th place. Pat Evans, now thankfully recovering from a leg problem, completed the 7 with no adverse effects. Andrea Lennon is a remarkable lady and at 80 years of age is able to handle this very hill course with maturity. She always looks very composed and has a ready smile at the finish. Andrea clocked an impressive 104 mins 12. The winner of the handicap was our club secretary Roy Gunnett who squeezed home by 18 seconds from Steve Wilde. Dave Crompton’s partner Louise completed the course with Emma, Dave’s daughter, in a very respectable 111 mins 37 seconds, pretty good going on one of the country’s hilliest courses.

Pat Evans back to fitness
Andrea Lennon defying her age
Bravo to Louise Whaite and Emma Crompton

1. Adrian Edwards 78 mins 37(10 22/38 50/78 37)
2. Ian Hilditch 79 mins 38(10 52/40 03/79 38)
3. Glyn Jones 81 mins 12(11 32/41 08/81 12)
4. Steven Wilde 82 mins 47(11 53/41 47/82 47)
5. Phil McCullagh 83 mins 00(11 56/42 42/83 00)
6. Roy Gunnett 83 mins 29(11 37/41 34/83 29)
7. Sailash Shah 83 mins 47(11 22/41 46/83 47)
8. Joe Hardy 86 mins 47(11 58/43 56/86 47)
9. Pat Evans 88 mins 23(12 23/44 29/88 23)
10. Greg Smith 98 mins 50(12 06/46 42/98 50)
11. Andrea Lennon 104 mins 12(14 27/52 30/104 12)
12. Louise Whaite 111 mins 37(15 47/56 54/111 37)
12. Emma Crompton 111 mins 37(15 47/56 54/111 37)

Handicap results
1. Roy Gunnett 66 mins 59
2. Steven Wilde 67 mins 17
3. Glyn Jones 68 mins 12
4. Phil McCullagh 69 mins 00
5. Ian Hilditch 69 mins 08
6. Sailash Shah 70 mins 47
7. Andrea Lennon 71 mins 12
8. Pat Evans 72 mins 38
9. Joe Hardy 73 mins 47
10. Adrian Edwards 78 mins 37
11. Greg Smith 89 mins 05

Thanks are due to Greg Smith for the opening shots of everyone at the finish and to Martin Payne for the action photos. Very much appreciated.

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