World Masters Mountain Racing Championships
28th August 2010
Rochdale Harriers on the start line at the foot of Pilsko Mountain
Congratulations to Anna Blomfield for winning a gold medal as part of the winning England F45 team
Pictures by John Mayall
Pictures by Mark Walker
FIVE ROCHDALE HARRIERS competed in the World Masters Mountain Racing Championships in Poland on 28th August.
The race took place at Korbielow, north of Poland’s southern border with the Slovak Republic. The remote location meant few from the area spoke English. Coupled with the local organization (or lack of it) competitors experienced some interesting situations.
The course was about 5 miles long, taking competitors to the summit of the 5,100ft mount Pilsko. Unusually for mainland European races, the route was quite interesting and rough under foot. This event required runners to be at least 35 years of age.
The Rochdale Harriers contingent consisted of Brenda and Colin Robinson, Anna Blomfield, Mark Walker and John Mayall. They were joined by Ginny Willey from Middleton Harriers. On race day, Brenda and Colin Robinson were in the first group to race up the mountain. For Colin, who still holds many of the club's records, this was to be his first race for 15 years. After a warm and sunny start, weather conditions rapidly deteriorated as rain and mist descended. The rough course became increasingly slippery on the muddy and rocky sections but the Robinsons completed the course without difficulty.
The vet 45 group included Rochdale’s Anna Blomfield and John Mayall. By the time they reached the top of Pilsko the rain had turned to hail, making for very cold conditions, especially as the organizers had not transported the competitors’ dry or wind proof clothing to the summit.
Mark Walker and Ginny Willey (Middleton Harriers) followed in two later racing groups and they met up with a frozen Mayall and Blomfield at a mountain hut on the descent.
The awards presentation followed the anarchic theme of the event, with the organizers initially confusing entrants’ nationalities and nearly awarding one of the National team prizes incorrectly. The confusion turned to joy later in the evening when Rochdale’s Anna Blomfield learned that she had won a gold medal as part of the England female veteran 45 team. The English ladies had beaten Slovakia by just 1 point and Poland by 6 points. Her fellow counters were Evelyn Dugdale and Lindsay Jean Buck.
England also won the male veteran 45 prize by a sizeable margin of 11 points, with Craig Roberts, Alan Bowness and Paul Dugdale as counters. Czech republic and Poland were 2nd and third. England took bronze in the Male veteran 55 category.
Following celebrations, the Rochdale runners exchanged their usual Sunday run on the moors for a road run up and into the Slovak Republic.
The results for members of Rochdale Harriers were as follows:
John Mayall 69 min 06.1 sec; Mark Walker 69 min 17.6 sec; Anna Blomfield 73 min 55.9 sec; Colin Robinson 74 min 12.7 sec; Brenda Robinson 96 min 59.0 sec.
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