Hadleigh Legacy 10km

Hadleigh Country Park hosted the 2012 Olympic Mountain Bike course that was designed to test the best athletes in the world; athletes on 2 wheels that is and without a little engine hidden about their equipment.

Also home to the Bentley 15, this event, organised by Nice Work, was obviously going to be a difficult hilly course. A lot of firm paths, but undulating and with hair pin bends as we wound up one hill to fly down the next; technical sections involving large rocks (not good for anyone wearing spikes) and some proper muddy parts too.

A bit of everything really, and so was the field – 353 finished, with all sorts of shapes and sizes, including runners from Rochford, Dengie, Benfleet and Springfield and 3 from Colchester Harriers Estate Agents – Clarke, Smith and Marsh – aiming for first team prize. It was spitty rain, the sort that soaks you right through and makes it hard to focus. We not only lost Terry Wogan today, but also Smith early on (SSA*). Nevertheless, Marsh persevered to come 61st in a good time of 53:05

On the course it was hard to get going with little recovery time before the next rock or bend but it was good training for our own x-country season. There were lots of soggy marshals out there, but very friendly and supportive right til the end. Nice Work always provide prizes for the whole field and I would definitely describe them as inclusive; young Mark Harrod has benefited from them at least twice before when I collected one or two of many prizes on his behalf.

The team prize scuppered, Clarke pushed hard with a respectable 9th (44:51) and first old boy prize; the photo also shows a nice gilet he got for Xmas. Thanks to Simon for waiting for me to collect the shield and taking the picture and apologies to the 3rd placed lady I said looked quite old and to her husband who glared at me afterwards. She was though.

Pat, sorry we didn’t see you at the end but Simon thought you had probably got lost.

* SSA – Slightly Sore Ankle