Race Report: Reading Road Runners Dinton Pastures Relay

Race Report: Reading Road Runners Dinton Pastures Relay

Finch Coasters Entertainments sec and dedicated wearer of Canary Yellow tops Emily went down to the Reading Road Runners Dinton Pastures Relay and had so much fun that she decided to write a cracking review of it.  In fact she wrote this nearly two months ago and we only found it stuffed down the corner of our website last night, ooops!

 On a sunny summer’s evening, 8 Finch Coasters and a Finch Coasters wannabe made their way to Dinton Pastures for the annual Reading Roadrunners Relay. Yes it was a race and yes time mattered but this was a relay with a difference. Rather than being the first team to finish who won, it was the team who finished closest to their estimated time.

So what did we know? We knew that the course was 2.3 miles long, we knew that we had to estimate a finish time, we knew that we had to try and finish as close to that time as we could, we knew that the team with the lowest points score would be the winner and we knew that our trusty running watches were not allowed. Some Finch Coasters took a much more ‘scientific’ and serious approach to estimation than others. Some Coasters were seen testing out the distance in the week leading up to the race, some were heard trying to calculate using Strava statistics, some decided that going flat out was the only the way to get close and Paul Mackenzie and Andy ‘Candy’ Yarrow decided to go with the ‘follow Emily’ approach.

Myself, Paul and Andy went off first. As usual, I went off too quickly and as I began to even out my pace I was soon overtaken by Paul and then Andy. As I approached the end of my lap, with both Rhodri Jones and Steve Wood running passed me, I was confident that I must have been much slower than my estimated 16:08 finish time. With that in mind, I sprinted towards Sara Marshall, who was about to run as a Coaster for the first time.

With no watches, much speculation was taking place amongst the Yellow Vests as to how our teams were getting on. In fact, Simon Crute was so engrossed in such discussion that he had to perform to quick sprint to be there to take over from Rhodri. Perhaps learning from the chairman, Carol Yarrow and James ‘JC’ Craggs were waiting on time to embark on their respective teams final lap.

As the Finch Coasters finished, still none the wiser as to how we had faired, some runners headed off. Myself and Sara, on the other hand, began to wonder whether James would ever reappear from his cool down so that we could go and enjoy the BBQ.

Our food, finally, eaten we congratulated the Reading Roadrunners winners on expert estimating and were informed of a dodgy printer which meant that we would have to wait a little longer to find out how close we were to our estimates.

The results, however, were worth waiting for as the Coaters actually did pretty well! We finished in 5th, 8th and 11th place out of 48 teams. So, what did we learn? Carol, James and myself are pretty darn good at estimating how long it takes us to run 2.3 miles, Paul and Andy should have had more faith in their original ‘follow Emily’ plan, Sara is a wonderful addition to the club, when switching your team’s running order it is important that you cross out all unnecessary letters, don’t ask James to run in your relay team if you resent having to wait for him to complete a cool down that lasts a lot longer than it takes him to run 2.3 miles.

Conclusions drawn… A great evening was had by all participating Finch Coasters! Many thanks to our friends at Reading Roadrunners for their great organisation and wonderful hospitality. We are looking forward to returning the favour at our final Woodland 5 of the series on Wednesday 30th July.

The Finch Coasters results:

Finch-Shes and JC – 5th place (36 points)
Emily Marshall estimate 16:08 actual 16:04 points 4
Sara Marshall estimate 17:15 actual 17:42 points 27
James Craggs estimate 12:33 actual 12:38 points 5

Finch Fighters – 8th place (63 points)
Andy Yarrow estimate 16:00 actual 15:24 points 36
Steve Wood estimate 17:00 actual 17:24 points 24
Carol Yarrow estimate 16:00 actual 15:57 points 3

Finch Flunkers – 11th place (78 points)
Paul Mackenzie estimate 16:00 actual 15:07 points 53
Rhodri Jones estimate 14:45 actual 14:32 points 13
Simon Crute estimate 18:30 actual 18:18 points 12