Mungo Bone

Yesterday was the annual Walton Chasers Mungo Bone Handicap run which is a 4km blast through Cannock Chase. Last year my time was 14.39 so I put that as my estimated finish time for this year's race. Ray Collins completely ignored this and put me in for a finish of 14.10 (must have thought I was running a lot faster this year!). This only gave me a lead of 1.10 over Rob Little, 20 secs to chase down Gareth Little, and well over a minute to chase Ian Turner and Andy Yeates!

After setting off the course has a fairly undulating first section with plenty of short ups and down, and you cant see more than 20 secs in front of you. I saw Gareth Little just ahead of me quite early on, so knew I was catching him at a reasonable pace (he had a 20 sec lead to begin). I then struggled to gain the remaining 7 secs as he seemed to get into more of a rythem. I finally managed to catch him a couple of minutes before the turn along the valley. I kept looking back a fair bit early on to see whether I could see Steve Clayton who started just 10 secs behind me, or the steam train that is Rob Little.

At the turn I felt that I was having a good run, but looking back at where I had just come from I could already see Rob, who by this stage couldn't have been more than 25 secs behind me. Along the valley I could see the long string of runners ahead and just made it my target to catch as many as possible. At about half way along the valley Rob finally caught me, and I managed to keep up with him for best part of a minute before dropping back a bit. There was then just the short drop into the finish.

At download Rob won in a time of 12.31, myself second in 13.47 and Gareth third in 14.36. It turns out that Rob beat his previous personal best (and course record) by a further 18 seconds this year. I was very pleased as I knocked 52 seconds off my previous best and I think being injury free is paying dividends. I reckon that if I can do that time with no training (purely just by competing in Orienteering events), then I might be in with a chance of getting around the 13 min mark next year.

Back in Brocton Village Hall there were plenty of mince pies to go round and the odd glass or two of mulled wine. The main thing is of course that everyone had an enjoyable morning, whether running on the chase or the socialising afterwards!


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