Article by Peter Gough
Daddies Escape entered 7 runners into this event. Meeting at 7:30 am at McDonalds in Denton, we all had porridge and jam, washed down with a coffee before dropping onto the motorway for the hours drive to a little village outside Preston sharing two cars. Frankie, Liam and I went in Frankie’s beamer, following Steve’s bright yellow Citroen DS with Rick, Shaun and Akkeal as passengers.
We arrived early in the beautiful and picturesque village of Scorton
and watched it waken around us in an unhurried calm where everyone seemed to know just what to do without any fuss. Bedecked in bunting that spanned the streets, the village 10K race coincided with a festival where a classic car show, medieval re-enactment society and a blend of local foods and beers were being readied in the nearby parks for the day. We found some free parking near the church on top of the hill and ambled down to the primary school to collect our race numbers. Rick, by chance was allocated number 118 and spurned a swathe of jokes for the rest of the day. Smaller races like this hold their own charm where you have local people engaging with community events for the general good of the village. The proceeds from the entry fees would feed back into the community.
Everyone was welcoming and kind and we did a little exploration before heading to the end of the kids race. It’s great to see such young kids getting a taste of running and feeling the buzz of approaching the finish line applauded and encouraged by complete strangers. Liam found some Bakewell Tart Flapjacks in the local shop that went down a treat.
As usual at races, it seemed the right thing to do to make use of the local ‘facilities’. Steve entered trap two and shut the door; emerging a few minutes later with a dead canary in a cage and a general look of ‘we won’t be doing any further mining today’. Two nearby lady runners pulled up their bandana’s over their mouths to reduce the effect. We knew Steve was a good runner but also being a potions wizard was a surprise; as was the ‘Whispering Death’ he left for others to sample.
This was a 10K
but with a field limit of 300. Later we would find that a total of 144 runners took part. We returned to the cars to ‘gear-up’, donning our Daddies Escape shirts and applying ‘Deep Heat’ to legs.
Time to get warmed-up
Liam led the warm-up with his usual ball-of-string route which has a start and an end but goes everywhere to get there. Down into the village and back up to the church then down again, settling in the local play-park where Rick decided to crawl through a concrete pipe to check there was nobody he had missed to swap numbers with.
We met some other runners and chatted with Susan Plant from Warrington who is a keen runner and cyclist; accompanied by Alan Talbot. We stretched and loosened up before heading up to the start which could be loosely described as the centre of the village where four lanes met. The race director called us to the start, announcing that the race would get underway on the toot of a car horn on the lead car.
The lead car duly tooted and we were off. Akkeal, Steve and Shaun headed to the front and I stayed with Liam and Frankie, Rick somewhere inbetween. The race route
took us back out of Scorton on Factory Road before a sharp left just after the first mile marker taking us over the River Wyre and just north of Cleveleymere. Entering a nice wooded area, we negotiated an undulating (<there’s that word again) track that presented a leg-sapping incline just before the 3 mile mark, levelling out near Forton Services, instantly recognisable by its hexagonal concrete tower and remembered as the second motorway services after Charnock Richard to open on the M6 in 1965. We turned left again and headed south down Hollins Lane before taking another left just after four miles to close the loop and start to bring us back home to the start.
It was here that my doubts set-in. It was only my second race wearing a base-layer. My first time was Wigan Half Marathon some weeks before where I’d had to stop and take it off after burning up. Same here. Just after 4 miles, with sweat streaming down my head, I pulled up and ripped the damn thing off, instantly feeling the benefit. However, the damage was done and I struggled to find any consistency on the couple of miles back. As my top was off and I needed to ‘download excess fluid’, I just chose the nearest tree and decided to water it. From behind my I heard ‘Ay up Pete’ and turned (although not too far!) to see Susan Plant run by. I guess this is one advantage of having our names across the backs of our shirts. The next stages took us through a local farm and then back down the nasty hill we’d encountered on the way up. I eventually mustered some energy to kick-on for the finish but glancing at my Garmin showed 48 something and I was a little annoyed with myself. All the ‘daddies’ were there though to cheer me on through the finish. On arrival, I found that Akkeal had got second place in only his second competitive 10K and the first honours for the group, pipping the third place runner by just three seconds.
We met up at the end again with Susan and Alan who had both won their categories and would be collecting their prizes later. Then we found out that Shaun had also topped his category and added further glory. Everyone else had managed PB’s but I’d have to wait for another event to try for mine.
The results were up more or less instantly thanks to the Webscorer service that had been used to record the times. Full results here
The race entry fee included a bacon butty and a hot drink so we set-off to find them, wandering back to the centre of the village before realising we’d walked past it when we’d left the finish area. We sat with Alan and Susan again and chatted generally about running, races and Strava. 118-Rick set about adding everyone he’d missed before the race. Now Scorton is a little village and we were approached by a charming young lady selling raffle tickets, explaining that ‘Glamping’ experiences could be won in the local area. Frankie asked if she took Apple Pay. She allowed for a pause to consider if this was a real question before replying with ‘Do I look like I take Apple Pay?’.
The race director called everyone to the local primary school where prizes were given out. Shaun and Akkeal stepped up to receive their prize ‘boots’ then Frankie bought a load of pink Scorton 10K shirts, with Rick remarking to Susan that it would ‘make a good nightie’. Never one to miss an opportunity our Rick 😉 We returned to the cars and headed back to Manchester with another race behind us and the hope that the little village of Scorton had enjoyed having us.
Akkeal: 38:12.9 – 2nd overall
Shaun: 41:53.4 – V50 category winner