The reason for yesterday’s leisurely parkrun was that Sue and I were entered for the Tatton Yule Yomp, a 10 km cross country race around Tatton Park. I did it in 2014, dressed as a Christmas tree and (as this year) carrying an injury. With a dubious weather forecast I just couldn’t face lumbering round with the tree this time, so a Santa’s jacket would have to do by way of fancy dress, for which this event is notorious.
Having parked at Sarah’s house (thanks Sarah) we strolled to the start at the park entrance and took a ‘selfie’, which Tony ‘bombed’. He was duly given the job of taking a proper photo (above), a version of which will stare from our 2018 calendar next December.
After warming up at the head of the field, we made our way to the back of the 1165 runners for the start. This ploy worked well for me a few weeks ago at the Birmingham Marathon. So once the gun went, we took a couple of minutes to reach the archway where our timing chips were activated.
The first kilometre was very slow due to congestion, allowing us to warm up gently, gradually increasing our speed and steadily moving through the field during the course of the event. We stayed together until a steep downhill section at around 5 km, where my Salomon Speedcross 4 shoes gave me much better grip than Sue’s old trainers. Anyway that made me a target for her to aim at, and despite me speeding up at the end of the event, Sue finished only a few seconds behind me.
It was a cool day, and despite the very jolly atmosphere we didn’t spot anyone we knew, so after a couple of photos at the finish, we adjourned to collect our ‘goodie bags’, which were stuffed with products from Roberts Bakery – who sponsor this race.
Here’s the nifty medal we got at the finish.
And here are a couple of low resolution photos from the Tatton Yule Yomp website, taken during the race.
Here’s the route, should anyone care to repeat it. My Garmin gadget recorded just over 10 km, with over 50 metres ascent.
You may need to click on the following image for a larger version to see how we got on. Both of us are carrying injuries, and we started very slowly, so the time was even slower than my 2014 time of 56.35. I was quite happy to come 4th out of 15 in my age category, and Sue finished 4th in her age group, but based on chip times she actually came 2nd out of 75 in that category. So all the parkruns she has been walking must have paid off, and her Achilles survived without further damage thanks to the leisurely pace on the soft ground.
Everything you might want to know about this event is here. It’s a lovely route through the park, and great fun if you like slithery mud, water splashes, and other features of cross country running. It reminded me of being at school! And it didn’t rain much this year.