On Saturday 30th December, the Bowmen of Adel hosted their second Iron-man Challenge, in Leeds. This competition entails shooting 3 dozen arrows at a 30yd target, 3 separate times.
People ask, what's so hard about that? Well, the degree of difficulty is caused by two things:
First, it's held at a time of year when our weather is so poor we don't often compete outside - it's called 'Frostbite' for a reason!
Secondly, most ordinary club archer's like myself, don't shoot nine dozen arrows at one time. Shooting indoors, on a 20 yard range is the maximum distance most can manage, and many not even that.
Put the two together; shooting 50% more arrows, plus conditions that you would not normally choose to shoot in takes something of an iron resolve!
After the first and second rounds, we took a 30 minute break. The first break for a cup of soup. The second break there was hot chilli on offer. Both breaks came with welcome cups of tea - all included in the entry fee.
We started shooting at 10 am, it was 5 degrees C and raining, with a light but blustery breeze. Both rain and wind gradually increasing as the round progressed.
I scored 254, a decent start and the first break I quickly change my wet
clothes, put on a bodywarmer and full length raincoat. Not really too suitable for archery, but I was warm enough to carry on.
When we began the second round, the rain got heavier and the wind even stronger - we managed to use an umbrella when collecting our arrows from the target. I only scored 151, but I was still shooting, and not completely frozen.
At the start of the last round, the weather had eased a little but got worse again about half way through. It was pretty miserable. My last round score was 171 and my total score was 576 (pb).
It was 4pm, when the competition finished. I was a little disappointed with my score after a good start but I did shoot better than last year, and now have a silver medal to go with last year's bronze. Perhaps with a further 12 months practice and better personal organisation, I may even have a shot at gold. Report by K. Underwood.
The photograph shows Kathryn Underwood sporting the silver medal she won at Leeds - warm now, at the first club meet of 2024.