After the disappointment of the Seven Pools Run I wanted to try another cross-country race, and the Himley 5k seemed ideal. And then when I discovered that the men’s race wasn’t starting till 7.45, I knew I could also go to the orienteering event at Sedgley Hall Farm beforehand. This small area (along with some others) was mapped for Dudley Council back in 1987, and Barry, tonight’s organiser, claims that this was the club’s first event there for 21 years. Neat. And we used Terry Foxton’s original map, which was misleading, but we all knew it would be! Most of what was orange or yellow on the map was very difficult to run, and it was a real puzzle how to get in to some of the controls. In one mad attempt I climbed up a vertical streambank and fought my way out through the brambles and goosegrass at the top. Frustrating but fun…

 Spot the Sofa Competition: a prize for the first person to work out (or guess) where the sofa is. (Those of you who ran in the event are excluded from entering!)

My time of 43 minutes for 3.6 k was nothing to write home about, but it was a good thing that I’d had to stop a few times – it meant I hadn’t taken too much out of myself before the challenge ahead… Best wishes, by the way, to Rob Vickers, who suffered a cranial blessure thanks to an unscheduled anterior-postern rendezvous. (He bumped his head on a gate.) I hope he’s back from the hospital and okay.

 Russ returns  Adrian awaits

At 7 o’clock I parked up at Himley Hall just in time to see the women set off. They were led home by two teenagers from Halesowen ACC (nos. 55 & 56 in the big pic) in a time of around 19 minutes. I don’t know who won my race – but I know my time was 23:27. (It was around 11:15 at halfway.) My strategy was to start fast and then accelerate (!) but that was easier said than done. 🙂 I did keep running all the way though, and was able to overtake a couple of guys on the run-in.

Because of the wet ground, and to give extra support to my legs, I wore my O shoes. At about a quarter distance I had a short bout of wobbly kneecap but it settled down. I’ve still got the crepitus, but otherwise my knee seems to be happy again.


Results: men women