The year has flown by and it was time to take the annual trip over to the Roaches near Leek, for the Christmas Cracker race. The weather this year seemed to be milder compared to last year’s snow and ice spectacular. Although shortly after arriving we were given the news that for the second year running the race had to be run around Tittesworth Reservoir due to icy conditions on top. However this did not dampen or chill our enthusiasm as we headed out onto the undulating track. The race is famed for its fancy dress and this year did not disappoint with some great team costumes covering everything from the Three Wise Ladies, numerous elves and Santa’s, but I think the 15 Mexican’s were highlight of the day especially as they all waited and finished together to a large round of applause. It’s a deceiving route with very few flat sections, some steep stepped sections and many uphill winding climbs that caught many a runner out. Our happy group stayed well bunched for the first third, chatting away as we went although Jenny and Nathan had started to pull away. It was great to cross back over the reservoir to a Mexican wave, from the high spirited poncho wearing Mexican group! Then soon we were into the final section winding up and down through the woods passing a few on our way, until we were on the path heading to the finish. The final race order was Nathan Fagan (44) and Jenny Laing (45) both with a time of 0:37:03, Ade Middleton (64) came in next 0:40:15, closely followed by Katie Dennis (70) 0:40:47 and Rom Chambard (71) 0:40:48. Then in came the heavy weights pushing each other for a final dash to the line with Kev Clarke nipping in (73) 0:41:08, Paul Hudson (74) 0:41:09 and Gary Price (75) also in a time of 0:41:09. Emma Sharp finished like a trooper in (175) 0:52:20. Maybe next year we will make it over the Roaches and Kev can co-ordinate a team fancy dress theme to compete with the other clubs, we will wait and see!