SLOW Retain North Downs Way Relay Trophy after Epic Battle

Team SLOW ran a storming race at the North Downs Way Relay yesterday, to retain the event’s trophy after last year’s win. SLOW won the eight hour race by just two minutes, narrowly beating a strong Guildford team.

Special mention must be made of Dan Findlay-Robinson who unexpectedly had to run nearly a marathon, after a last-minute addition to his leg was required:

“Ended up running from the station to the start at Puttenham as it came in late, just scraped the start, overtaking Dmitry coming down the Road as he finished leg 1.

So basically rolled through the start and took the lead, wondering when I’d get overhauled, pushed it from the start trying to build a lead, nav was done on memory and the signs, a few hesitations and a wrong parallel path mean that I thought that the second guy that was behind me had got past me and so I tried to catch him and pushed on harder – so he hadn’t got past me after all and so I spent myself trying to catch a phantom. Came in first though – job done!

“Or it would have been if Phil’s car hadn’t been clamped and so meaning he missed the handover, as the other teams disappeared into the distance, a quick decision was made for me to roll over into this leg too as the club would have been disqualified without a runner – kept catching glimpses of the others as we went on but made a mistake at a junction and lost 4 min sorting this out, struggled on this leg physically, but apparently I made up a min or so on the 2nd half and came in around 7 min down. In pieces.”

Paul Couldridge was also running:

“I did the long and hilly leg from Hollingbourne to Blue Bell Hill again. I started off up the first hill(100m climb) with Chris Nichols for company and settled into quite a fast pace. After a while I thought that he was cruising behind me, telling me now and again which way to go when I hesitated. After 3 miles the heavens opened and after going up another steep hill, I started to wonder when he would go past me. Then his footsteps started to get fainter and I realised that he had dropped off. I then kept pushing to Delting Bridge to open up a gap after which I never saw him again.

“The second half was flatter but my legs were tired and kept whinging to me. I dropped 30 secs at the garage due to not remembering the course from 4 years ago and then the last hill seemed to go on forever. Really pleased with the time as it was only 30 seconds down from last time when the conditions were perfect as opposed to being torrential rain. Although I did have more of a race this time.”

Ian Webb had a tough race:

“Ouch. Not fit enough to do that… Start straight up Box Hill – about 7 mins to the trig point and already feeling it. Hit a bit of rhythm along the top, a bit of a drop/climb and then down to the road past the quarry. Next bit not too bad – a few small rises but mainly muddy bridleways. 50 mins in, hit the bottom of the climb up to Colley Hill – didn’t look as bad on the ground as on the map, but didn’t have the physical or mental strength to run up it. Barely managed 5 min/k along the top after that to the finish… calves felt on the verge of cramping at times too.”

This year’s race was the “dual race” format with two relays converging on the finish in the middle of the trail, after roughly eight hours of running, at the Vigo Inn.

2012 Team

  • Dmitry Adamskiy
  • Dan Findlay-Robinson (x2)
  • Ian Webb
  • Vicky Robb
  • Peter Huzan
  • Vince Roper
  • Helen Gardner
  • Andy Robinson
  • Ed Catmur (x3)
  • Paul Couldridge
  • Dorte Torpe Hansen
  • Chris Wroe
  • Richard Catmur

Quotes from Attackpoint logs.

More to follow…