North Korea or Jurassic World?
The MABAC event held yesterday was impacted because the area is currently being used as a film set. RPAC athletes reported seeing a number of North Korean army vehicles in the forest and hearing some gunshots, but we think these were props for the film rather than any reason for panic. We are unsure what is being filmed, but I do know that scenes for Jurassic World: Dominion was being filmed in the same area very recently. Perhaps some dinosaurs roaming the forest would have produced some interesting results.
The main impacts of the filming were the closure of two of the closer car parks to the start (parking is always a challenge at Winterfold anyway) meaning a bit of a hike to the start, and some last minute changes to the route. The good news about the revised route was that it avoided the "killer hill" which you normally have to ascend twice; the bad news was that the marshals weren't as familiar with the route, and the signage wasn't as good as usual...more of this anon.
This was an "extra" event in a MABAC season compromised by Covid - we will be running at Winterfold again in April - and was arranged in difficult circumstances.
Once again RPAC managed to field a good strong team. Graeme Hunter, Sarah Pemberton and Victoria Stammars made their MABAC debuts (apologies if I have missed anyone, or got this wrong).
Andrew Reeves was first home overall in 31:57, more than 20 seconds ahead on his nearest rival. He was followed by a pack of fast RPAC runners. Times and positions for this group of runners are at best an approximation as several of them went the wrong way as a consequence of indistinct signage and the marshals unfamiliarity with some sections of the course. Bethany Higgins was the first RPAC lady home and fourth lady overall. I believe that she was also impacted by the "diversion".
I am advised that the full course should have been 8.17 km, but athletes recorded distances of anything from 7.2km upwards. Although this impacted individual runners, it probably didn't make too much difference to the overall result. RPAC scored second highest for the second time this season and finish in third place overall in the League.
I'd like to thank everyone who has taken part in a MABAC race this season. I hope you'll agree that they are great fun - and offer competition for runners of all abilities. A couple of seasons ago we were struggling to field more than half a dozen runners for each race, it has been hugely gratifying to see such a strong RPAC presence at each of the races this year.
The next MABAC race is in Windsor Great Park on 16th January 2022. I look forward to seeing many of you there.
STOP PRESS: We have been advised that a runner from another club who ran yesterday has tested positive for Covid. You may consider taking a lateral flow test as a precaution.