Some say the train had been refitted in Japan, others that superconducting low friction wheels had been added by BMW. All we know………. is that it won (but only for a bit until a last ditch Steward’s Enquiry revealed timekeeping issues) and then it lost!
On Saturday 20 Aug, five Tattenhallers hightailed it to wet and windy western Wales to Race the Train as it tackled the round trip from Tywyn to Abergynolwyn Station. With horizontal rain and a wind which, some said, helped push it uphill faster than entitled, or downhill, or both, the train completed the round trip in what the official website originally stated was 1hr 45 mins. This was some 2 mins faster than anticipated throwing the carefully cultured plans of some runners into disarray. With an anticipated time required to beat the train of 1hr 47, expectations of success were high. With thoughts of Tokyo 2020 and Olympic qualifying times forefront in Tattenhallers’ minds, appeals were quickly launched. Surely the train went too fast, the wind was too strong, there weren’t enough passengers on it thus making it lighter, quite apart from its novel design characteristics; and so on and so forth. Legal challenges were submitted and rejected until finally one last chance remained…… The website time was wrong! The train arrived at 1hr 48 min and thus the leading Tattenhaller had beaten it by a puff of steam! And so it was that five weary souls turned east for home, a hug and a warm glass of beer. Tokyo here we come!
Tattenhall times this year were:
Robert Chambers – 1:46:25
Martin Durrant – 2:05:57
Sharon Eaton – 2:27:08
Robert Webster 2:31:19
Laura Ashford – 2:38:12
This week, Tattenhall took themselves, amongst other venues, to tackle the unknown, the uncertain, the foreboding frontier factor; namely the Denbigh 10k. A surprise event in this year’s club road championship, 8 adventurous runners, passports in hand, crossed to the vale of Clwyd to challenge the course and hopefully, win points to support their championship ambitions.
An early arrival at the course allowed plenty of time for an extensive warm up and it wasn’t long before the team were looking for a way out of the maze of local streets into which they had dived to prepare for the race. Successfully returning to the course Tattenhallers gainfully lined up with other contestants. Ready for the off, they were politely advised they were were all facing the wrong way! Oh well. Runners were positioned to the correct side of the start line and were soon launched into the hilly lanes of Denbigh; and hilly they certainly were. However, it was a good day for the club with Rob Arden crossing the finishing line in third place overall in a time of 40min 43sec and Alli Grundy winning first place in the women’s race in a time of 42min 25sec, both highly commendable performances.
With a brace of podium finishes and a smattering of likely age category winners, it was decided to remain for the prize giving and so the team remained in the chilly breeze awaiting the momentous occasion. A huge pile of Maltesers had been spotted while registering and the prospect of returning to Tattenhall munching on the proceeds of victory were enticing. And so we waited. The crowd gradually drifted away but finally the results were in. Much to Rob’s disappointment, however, there was to be no moment of glory, no minute of fame, no deafening applause from the crowd and no third prize; no cash, no technical running attire and definitely no chocolates! Not to be denied, Alli received her rightful award to the cheers of the remainder of the team, a foretaste perhaps of great things to come from Tattenhall’s very own World Championship athlete…… but that’s another story.