Now i object to that comment. Oh, if you did’nt say “E’s only there for the beer”, that’s alright then.Yes,more on the Larkins later,if you can stand it?
So another year,another Eridge,another quite,quite, astounding day in the environs of Eridge Country Deer Park,nr. Tunbridge Wells,Kent.Why so? Well,superb organisation,great challenging route(steep hills), muddy tracks to negotiate as well as the odd Leap of Death,oh and post-race free beer,fruit and cakes.What more do you want on a Sunday?Plus weather that certainly caused this runner to come away with very red shoulders and forehead.But enough of the excuses.Oh, hav’nt started yet.The forecast for Sunday was 28 degrees. 28, i ask you.Leaving Glasgow it was November,or temperatures that would lead you to believe it was November.Through London and into Kent it was back to July. Baking hot all week-end, so dare’nt complain. Marvellous.
Racing Eridge in the heat – just get “on wi it”. Yes,well get most of the water on the old napper at the stations.We had arrived early,very early, for the 10.30 sprint-off,or not. Best to ease into this today, don’t blow up, just steady, steady, then fast finish.Hah. That’s great in theory. Just after the first mile i heard that’s 6 mins.Well was’nt too bothered by that as after a bit of an incline it’s essentially downhill for the first mile. Anyway,just could’nt resist the twisting downhill track to overtake the runners that seem to put the brakes on?A guy came alongside after a bit and we agreed that we were puzzled by that.Next few miles tried to get a good even pace going,otherwise the suffering would start.
Several bogs and steep hills later(some loose a shoe in the bogs-in fact they are still looking for their shoes and that’s for last year). You get the picture.Coming up to the 8 mile marker there is…..how shall i put it…….yes”an all mothers and fathers” of a climb.What a killer. Funny that,don’t remember it being that long……oh dear.Still, past 8 miles now and recovering fast,hopefully.A shout from a Marshall and her son…..”Just under a mile to go”, which completely confused me. Oh no it is’nt. It’s just under 2 miles to go.Country miles at that we are warned.Good relatively fast part, boggy in places,before a sting in the tail, tarmac up hill that’s too long,into the soft boggy wood again,through and up into more scorchio sunshine to that finishing funnel.
Then Gary says “What about that beer then”. Would be rude to refuse.That local brew,Larkins was just ideal…..very tasty………and another.
Highly recommended……….if you happen to be in the south-east early September,give it a go.

429 Finished
1. J. Baker Chichester AC 1.03.37
First Female 1. T. Oldershaw Paddock Wood AC 1.15.59
V40 J.Addison Beckenham RC 1.12
Female V35 M. Heslop AC 1.20
F V45 T. Oldershaw Paddock Wood AC 1.15.59
Male V50
1. G. Heslop Ashford AC 1.25.04
2. M. Turner Orpington RR 1.25.13
3. G. Neighbour Unattached 1.25.55 (54 place)
12. H.Semple Wccc 1.31.41 (98 place).
Yes, that is Gary Neighbour 3rd V50 no running last 4 weeks (injured). Clearly any training at all and he will get the V50 and better.
Thanks to Alan Cheek and all at Tunbridge Wells Harriers for putting on a monumentally, astounding race for us. It’s not bad.

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