There was a new look about the race this year. Instead of the usual finish at Heath Rugby Union Club,, this year, Spring Hall was the finishing venue. In addition, for the first time ever, chip timing was introduced to the race, although it suffered from a few teething problems. As a result of finishing at Spring Hall, there was a big change to leg six.
As a sign of the growing strength of the club, this year Barlick entered two male and two female teams. Such is the spirit in the club that everyone gave their all and there are tales from all legs of people pushing themselves to the limit. Whether it was Laura Craig, who had only recently had her second baby and who stepped in at the very last minute to replace a flight delayed Hannah Watson. Or Gary Shaw, who finished leg two looking like he had had been put through the wringer by Julian Hood (he had), or Andy Berry whose face at the end of leg 5 showed that he had nothing more to give. Then there was Leanne Dinsdale who looked so bad when she had finished her leg that she was given the once over by the medics. Luke Maude was another whose partner, Nick Treitl, pushed him to the limit, leaving him completely drained by the end of his leg. Finally, there was Ian Livesey who was in the final leg with Jon Cleaver. They started in third position. Chasing down second place was out of the question due to the time difference, but behind our final pair was the Wharfedale "B" team who were looking strong. At the canal bridge, Ian and Jon Cleaver had a lead over Wharfedale of a minute, when Ian suddenly felt a sharp pain in his leg and realised that he had injured his achilles tendon. He could have been forgiven for pulling out at that point, but not only did he fight through the pain, but our final pair opened up the gap between them and the chasing Wharfedale pair. All this commitment and effort was put in by people proud to wear the Barlick vest.
What did all this effort lead to? The first two clubs last year were Calder Valley and Wharfedale and this year, their positions were reversed, with Wharfedale putting in a very good all round performance and taking the honours. In a year when several top Barlick runners left the club to chase glory elsewhere, the A team came home third, the same as last year. It was a great performance from all who took part. Last year, our "B" team finished in 20th position, but this year, they finished 14th. Again due to great commitment from everyone.
What about the ladies? Once more, all the commitment and effort paid off and they were rewarded with 3rd place, after good performances throughout all legs. Our first ever ladies "B" team also gave their all and finished in 11th position.
There was a great spirit and camaraderie amongst all the Barlick teams at this race and everyone who took part can be proud of what they achieved today.