Bury 20M: 27 February 2000
There were seventeen Serpentine runners in a field of over a thousand (one Serpie only intending to run 15 miles) at this traditional pre-London race. The course is rural, mainly on quiet country roads, and windswept. Somehow the wind contrived to be blowing against us all the way round.
Most of the Serpie contingent were staying in a bizarre little bed-and-no-breakfast near the RAF base outside Bury, complete with drive-thru burger shack at its side. We had a splendid carbo-loading session at Mama Roma the night before – causing consternation and amazement when we asked them to bring extra bowls of pasta for hungry runners. Thanks to Richard Nash for organising the dinner, and to him, Hannah Arbeid and Dave Lipscomb for enthusiastic support and chauffering. Alternative race reports by Hannah and Dave are below.
Everyone had a good run. Gemma Hale was running in Serpie colours – indeed, in any colours – for only the second time. Special honours to Phil McCubbins and Paul Ashworth, who had competed in the National XC championships the previous day.
Runners World operated their pacing groups for 7 min/m, 8 min/m, 9 min/m and 10 min/m – all groups finished within a minute of their target time, though the 8 min/m group did some very uneven split times.
The Bury 4 by the Slurpy 2
Alternative event report by Hannah Arbeid
It was a cold, grey, windswept day, with a light drizzle as a Serpentine aesthetes headed for the start line. Just the sort of day to contemplate life, love and the accumulation of fluff in the navel. Just the sort of day for the Bury 4.
As always, our aesthetes made meticulous preparation. Dave went for a dark navy ensemble with tan effect boots, while Hannah chose a Nike sports t-shirt with a loose cut and very fashionable Levi trousers. Holding on to her roots, tradition and pre-race superstition, Hannah was careful to display the top of her Essex girl white socks.
Arriving early at the track, with ample time for a lengthy warm up, the two discussed race tactics. Dave, with possibly unwise enthusiasm, decided on positive splits, while Hannah, rather unorthodoxly, decided on negative splits.
As is so often the case, however, the two were prepared to adjust their tactics en route, as so much depends on course conditions – was there going to be an indoor caf
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