Angus Miller’s report of the day is as follows:
I met Geoff at Kings Cross Station and made our way to get the 214 bus to Parliament Hill. About five minutes into the journey Geoff realised that we were going the wrong way. The bus driver didn’t know where Hampstead Heath was which was helpful. We got off the bus and got on the correct bus and we could tell we were on the correct bus as there was runners from all around the country asking the driver if the bus went to Hampstead Heath.
We got off the bus and made our way through the event village seeing all the juniors covered in mud. The tannoy announcements emphasised the scale of the event. We went and picked up our number and ankle tag.
The sun was shining and the weather was perfect for running. We saw the queue for hoodies and joined the queue to get a hoody to remind us of the mud. We walked down the hill and saw the senior women stretched along the start line.
The women were off battling their way up the hill. The women’s race was 8km and was won in a time of 29 minutes by Jess Gibbon of Reading AC.
We walked to the tented village which was like Glastonbury with all the clubs that were entered. We found a little area that was dry where we could change prior to the race.
We spoke to South London AC and put our bags next to them prior to the race. The time had come to wish each other good luck and make our way to the start line, waiting for the starting orders. 3pm came and we were off.
The course was muddy and everyone was battling to stay up right and not lose any spikes. It felt at times like I was on Strictly Come Dancing. I dug in and got my head down and looked at the mud. I am glad I put tape round my spikes but I still nearly lost my spike.
Geoff had to stop and find his spike and put it back on. I was near to the final lap when I heard spectators shout saying that the leaders were coming through. I looked by and saw them flying through the field. I saw Alex Yee a gold medalist from Tokyo Olympics fly past. The winner of the men’s race Mahamed Mahemed who runs for Southampton won the race 12km in a time of 40:52.
I made my way back to my bag broken and covered in mud. My right hamstring was gone. I do ask myself why I put myself through hell.
Overall a really hard race both mentally and physically. I am glad I did it and will definitely do it again. It was a lovely course with great views. Next time I am in London I might come and walk round the course.
We got the bus back to London Kings Cross where Geoff went back to Newcastle and I went off and met my cousin. With Newcastle winning it was a good day all round.
Angus Miller: 1:11:10
Geoff Blair: 1:18:48