Dan and I returned to his home and native land for Christmas and New Years. The British Isles tricked us for the first few days as we enjoyed mild and sunny days, but then the wicked cold damp weather that drove me away returned. Thankfully our running plans took place at the beginning of our trip, first with the Mow Cop Killer Mile.
This is a race that takes place near where Dan was born, unfortunately it takes place on a Thursday evening in April so it is unlikely that we will ever be back to participate officially. But my love for running uphill and that fact that we were going to be in the area visiting Nanna, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to run the Killer Mile.
Here is a brief description of this short race:
The “brief but brutal” race route breaks into several different sections – a gentle first 1/4 mile away from the level crossing, then a 1-in-5 section up to Birch Tree Lane. A steady climb up through the fields in full view of the horrors to come, and at last the truly killer bit – the 1-in-4 section past the most popular spectator spot outside the Cheshire View, whose front door is the 3/4 mile mark. Even the comparatively level section from the top corner to the Finish is still climbing – never have so many people “sprinted” so slowly.
When they say “1-in-4” they mean that for every 4 foot of forward travel you go up 1 foot. Reading that back now it doesn’t sound so bad, but take my word for it, it’s freakin’ steep!
Of course half the fun was that we had arrived in England that morning at 830 after approximately 12 hours of travel and no sleep thanks to all the very proud parents of the new babies that wailed for the whole flight (seriously, if you’ve just had a baby and some of your family lives abroad, do everyone a favour and invite them to visit you!). So after visiting with Nanna we were taking to the “mile”. We had to change in the car (a spacious Mazda 2), and just before we started I realised I had to wee and I was actually quite hungry, but no turning back now we were here. Gaz started us off with an actual klaxon horn, and we set off.
It pretty much just starts to climb, I was out of breath about 3 minutes in, the pictures I took don’t really do it any justice, but it makes for a slow mile. The course record is 6:12 set in 1991, I was hoping to finish in double that.
I had to take two walk breaks, one about 1/3 up and I walked up the 1-in-4 section in front of the pub, because running was too hard and slow, walking was slightly easier but I don’t think much faster.
Beyond the steepest part there is one turn and then onto the finish, where there is actually a permanent finish line on the pavement and a plaque.
It took me 12:45, Dan was about a minute behind me and it truly deserves the title of “killer mile”. As with the klaxon horn surprise we both received a finishers medal (which was a tasty chocolate pound coin) and headed off for a pub lunch.