A Winter Warmer
by Jo Houghton
It's been mighty cold in recent days with sub-zero temperatures so there was some concern about whether the first road championship race of the year, the Winter Warmer 10K, would be on. But the good folks of Blackburn Road Runners did a marvellous job of clearing the route from snow and ice and then making sure all the runners were still keen to go by posting pictures of cakes. Well PAC will go anywhere for a feed so we merrily turned up.
I hadn't done the race before but had heard there was a bit of a hill at the start - references to Norden were muttered - if you have no idea what I mean check out the Rochdale race in June this year. The start was on a track with one side in glorious sunshine and the other side with a thin layer of ice. So having skidded our way around a loop we set off up the hill - Buncer Hill - yep definitely uphill, and uphill and uphill - ok it was quite a hill. Eventually got over the Buncer and finally realised the effort had been worth it with amazing views of the snow covered hills around Blackburn.
The rest of the course seemed relatively easy after that with amazing support from the marshals who seemed to be every 100 metres. There was a final sting from the road section with a cheeky little uphill about 4 miles with a switchback at the end. Finally came back into the park where we started only for the athletics track to feel like it was getting further away - I'm sure that park got bigger as I ran through it. Then, yes, back into the athletics ground but hang on, there seemed to be people walking around the middle ring of the track?? I finally realised that the walkers had already finished and were doing a loop back to the goody bag area and us slower bods had to run around them whilst they gloated.
The race goodies were interesting - well Andy O'Sullivan was involved - so a microwavable saucepan has joined the pineapple corer at the back of my kitchen cupboard. Still there was also buffs and key-ring medal to keep me happy. We also had a prize winner with Steph Caldwell taking V65 prize. Now where were those cakes....