Despite being awoken at one in the morning by a hurricane raging outside my bedroom window (a consequence, no doubt, of Tony’s rain-dancing), by the time I arrived at Melton Ross on Sunday 11th January, for the first SwampDodger action of 2015, the sun was shining. Unfortunately, there was also a brutal wind blowing across the undulating SwampDodger course, which was guaranteed to make it tough going.
Twenty-five brave souls turned out, either for the full SwampDodger experience, or to sample only the bike route, therefore allowing themselves more time for the serious business of cake eating.
This was the second time that we’d Dodged at Melton Ross, previously it’d been a close ‘race’, with Sheenan just clinching the win, whilst Mark Clements and Andrew Lawson snapped at his heels the entire way around. We had no idea who would be first across the line today. It was good to see a few more female participants this time, with Jane, Donna, Amanda and Rach doing the whole course, and Kerry and Erica undertaking the bike route.
First back from the initial two-mile, off-road run was Sheenan, with Rob Wood right on his heels, and Mark and Toby not far behind them. Rach Jackson was the first lady back from the run, with Jane Taylor about ten seconds behind. Everybody trudged safely into transition, Gary Horner managed to get his breath sufficiently to mutter a few choice expletives, and pretty soon everyone was off onto the two lap bike route.
Now, there are probably cosier places in the world to eat cake and drink coffee, but there are very few places so entertaining. A two lap bike course definitely adds to the excitement. Paul Fytche was first back after one lap of the bike, having taken an unintentional short cut. He headed out onto Lap 2, determined to find the correct course.
Reigning champion Sheenan was again first across the line, in a time of 1.18.41, this time with a two and a half minute lead over second placed ‘Awesome Lawson’ who had produced the fastest bike split of the day. Jane Taylor was the first lady to finish in a time of 1.40.33.
‘Quote of the Day’ goes to Gary Horner with “I tapered for three months for this race, but it didn’t work”.
‘Crash of the Day’ goes to Erica and Kerry, who had some kind of pile up in the woods.
‘We’re Getting our Legs Out, Even Though it’s Freezing’ Award goes to Tony England and Toby Bartlett for half-naked madness.
‘Gracious in Victory’ Award to Richard Ogden with his two minute victory over Gary Horner.
In summary, nobody was sick, everybody was cold, three people said they hated me, only one person got lost, we all had fun. Bucket loads of thanks to Vicki Stewart, Julie England, Mark Clements and Gareth Joseph for timekeeping and course signage. Thanks also to everyone who came along, braved the elements, ate cake, drank coffee and shared stories of their adventures. Results below. See you next time.
Pos. Name Run 1 Bike Run 2 Total time
1 Sheenan Quirke 14.12 49.18 15.11 1.18.41
2 Andrew Lawson 15.28 48.52 16.56 1.21.16
3 Toby Bartlett 14.55 52.09 15.06 1.22.10
4 Rob Wood 14.14 51.51 16.36 1.22.41
5 Mark Clements 14.45 51.18 17.16 1.23.19
6 Tony England 15.59 57.52 18.00 1.31.51
7 Joa Silvia 17.15 56.47 18.01 1.32.03
8 Peter Gossop 17.44 58.28 20.21 1.36.33
9 Gareth Joseph 15.57 1.02.04 19.06 1.37.04
10 Richard Ogden 17.00 1.02.22 18.50 1.38.12
11 Chris Jackson 17.15 1.03.58 18.34 1.39.47
12 Gary Horner 18.57 59.36 21.48 1.40.21
13 Jane Taylor 17.13 1.04.57 18.23 1.40.33
14 Mark Padley 17.33 1.14.12 19.45 1.51.31
15 Jason Johnson 20.27 1.07.22 24.02 1.51.51
16 Richard Anness 16.16 1.16.10 19.31 1.51.57
17 Rachel Jackson 17.04 1.21.31 19.47 1.58.22
18 Donna Reed 19.24 1.18.26 21.45 1.59.35
19 Amanda C 25.34 1.27.16 28.52 2.21.42
Paul Fytche 15.30 52.51 16.24 1.24.45 Short 1st bike loop
Phil Jackson 19.47 45.22 22.53 1.28.02 Did one lap on the bike