I have not written a race report for some time – partly because I don’t do as many races these days and, when I do, I am much further from the action than I used to be. Having said that, I had a flying start to this race until we reached the turn into the hill after 50 yards and normal service was resumed. After a few minutes, I had exchanged a friendly cough with Tina and most of the ten Hotfooters had disappeared. Sara Lake was still in sight though – so I thought, don’t start walking until she does. About four miles of climbing later, Sara hadn’t walked and my baby steps were getting smaller and my nose ever closer to the tarmac. Near the top, I spotted Andrew Merriman and thought I must be doing OK, until I realised I had to do full lap of the common to get where he was.

The organisers had arranged for beautiful weather and spectacular views and also a welcoming party of a large flock of sheep and some excitable collies near the top of the common. Just after this, Sara walked briefly – praise be! Andrew Price was doing a splendid job as a marshal at the top and I apologise to him for my insult to him not being anatomically correct.The descent was, not surprisingly, mostly downhill with some picturesque, but very painful, slight climbs through woodlands.

Having completed the course, I can see how well the team did. Gazelle Boy was first HH home in 1.21, with a rapidly improving Andrew Merriman clocking !.25. Addy Carter was the star of the day, coming in as the overall winner in the lady’s race in a brilliant 1.26. I have a small bet placed with William Hill that she will catch the Gazelle, over a shorter distance, within 12 months.

Billy Jope has emerged from his winter hibernation period and strolled to a cool 1.29. on his HH debut. Sharon L (aka The Shazanator) totally boshed it in 1.34, – especially good since it was about her twentieth race of the week.

A resurgent Imme (the Dresden Dynamo) was just a couple of minutes behind. Sharon Collins is definitely one to watch , surprising herself with a 1.40, closely followed by Sara and, not so closely by myself and Tina ,who knocked six minutes off her last years time
I must give a special mention to Ned Collins, by far the youngest runner in the race, who completed this difficult course in !.41.

Not to forget Claire and Sue who were the first walkers home and Mark for his support.
This was a brilliant event, clearly way marked with friendly marshals and water stations in the middle of nowhere. If I am still able to maintain forward motion, I will return next year .