After a week of wet weather, the Mayhill Massacre was looking to be such. Thankfully, by the event day the rain had stopped but left freezing temperatures overnight and a cap of mist on the apex of Mayhill.
As part of Tewkesbury’s Off-Road series, the race attracted a fine gathering from the club with Liz Spires, Cathy Dudfield and Jane Sauer representing the girls and Mark Parker, Jay Russell, Vlad Venglar, Wes Reid, Jon Mansfield and Stuart Dudfield for the lads.
The course was brutal in large sections – relentless deep mud and water, the trail was littered with brambles and branches and a testing array of undergrowth that would trip the most fancy of feet. Of course there were less precarious sections but these were mostly steep gradients. However, some people did enjoy the experience.
Chasing after Jon Mansfield - who finished 5th, Mark Parker registered yet another notable performance; although his training has been sparse of late, his fitness has benefited from a run of several tough races.
Stuart Dudfield ran strongly and pushed Vlad Venglar hard. Vlad took a fall on one of the several styles en route and this knocked his confidence as there was minor black ice still lurking in areas.
Jay Russell had a fine race; finishing in a creditable position, he fed well off the tough terrain. Wes Reid really put himself on the line. Having to borrow a pair of off-road shoes at the last minute, he worked hard from start to finish and with his current good form finished strongly.
Jane Sauer has only recently recovered from the norovirus. Taking six weeks off running is never the best prep for the Mayhill Massacre. On a course needing footwear with lugs like football boots, Jane wore just the basic multi-terrain shoe. Like many others in this predicament, Jane was only a slip away from a fall however, she made it over the 9 miles safely to finish 4th female. Had her not lost fitness to illness, the result may well have be more in her favour.
Liz Spires ran very well over the hill that she can probably see from home. Her performance was noteworthy as she managed to cross the finish ahead of Cathy Dudfield; Cathy, like Jane had donned footwear more suitable to a summer off-roader rather than the extremes of the forest encircling Mayhill and Glasshouse. Cathy is in good form this winter but took a fall and knew afterwards that she had to tread carefully. Annoyingly for Cathy too, she found herself congested behind other runners who struggled with the more serve climbs – probably losing a couple of minutes stalling along the narrow trail. Nevertheless, another tough winter race completed.
Jon - 1.12 hr
Mark - 1.17
Vlad - 1.22
Stuart - 1.22
Jay - 1.28
Jane - 1.30
Liz - 1.43
Cathy - 1.45
Wes - 2.23