Where Coulsdon, Surrey
When December 6, 2008
First Man Stuart Major 56:52
First Woman Ruth Hutton 1:08:38
Last Finisher 1:43:37
No. of Finishers 109
A strong turnout – mainly consisting of club runners from South London – descended upon the Farthing Downs for the South London Harriers' Pirie 10-miler.
The 2pm start was a pleasant change from the usual early-morning kick-off, and the winter sun and clear skies put everyone in good spirits – although the previous day's rain meant that forward-thinking locals managed to steal a canny march in the choice of footwear stakes.
The course was a two-lap, hilly route across varied terrain. A long, drawn-out climb shortly after the start spread the crowd out quickly, and the views from the top gave runners a welcome preview of the route ahead. Although this was not a particularly technical course, the descents were made all the more difficult by the loose terrain.
Several steep ascents provided a different sort of challenge, but the pain of such long inclines was tempered by the rewarding views on offer.
A 45-minute cut-off for the first lap, coupled with the high number of club runners, had the potential to give this an intimidating atmosphere, but South London Harriers could not have done more to provide a welcoming and environment, with showers, tea and cake at the end.