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Thrill on the hill

In splendid spring sunshine 14 Hillingdoners faced the challenge of the 6km-ish Coombe Hill race on the beautiful Ridgeway in Buckinghamshire on Sunday 1st June. The race starts on the road on the edge of Wendover  village with a continuous energy sapping ascent for over a mile along the exposed ridge and sun parched cross country track. Then the race takes on a whole new chapter with a free fall down a dark vee shaped  muddy gully edged with all kinds on badness  for around 400m’s before a sharp turn at the bottom. This is when the race really starts. A near vertical looking wall of hell waits as the competitors drag themselves wearily up in defiance of gravity for more than 300 metres before reaching the monument almost on all fours. Then it is a re-group of will power for a 1.5 mile slog through the muddy woods back down towards Wendover and the relief of the finish line.

I matched my position from last year with another 3rd place in 23:54 followed by Paul Hull in 14th with 26:40 Dave Newman, first V50 in  17th spot in 27:25 before our club chairman, Dave Smith, who wasn’t wearing a club vest it must be said completed the top 4 men in 41st position in 29:31. Eva Mack took a break from the comfort of the track for this race and placed 3rd in the women’s category in her first time at Coombe Hill with 30:25 and 53rd overall.  Debbie Brown was next across the welcome finish line in 101st place clocking 34:39mins. Donna Nash was 123rd in 36:01, Melanie Spencer, who I think was making a club debut recorded 38:01 and 150th and Lynda Copson completed the HAC finishers in 198th place in 42:55. 238 finished, but how many wish they hadn’t started?

Full results here.