Report from the President Mick Jeffrey:
A while ago I searched for races during the fortnight Linda was in Spain. One that caught the eye was these Yorkshire Veterans Championships. I checked the club records and thought both the 400m and 800m seemed easily breakable. Having won the Yorkshire Vets Steeplechase title in ’92 and ’93 I thought I’d have a go at that as well.
In the morning I ran the runSunday 3 mile Otley Chevin as a loosener and finished fourth and first (and only mv60). I drove to Spenborough track luckily on the route to Manchester airport. The day was overcast with a strongish blustery wind. The 400m started at 1.35 and two heats were called. I was in the second heat with a 75 year old from Ripon, who had form, he ran in the European Vets T&F in Finland recently and ‘did rather well’, an 80 year old and two ladies of a certain age.
The 400m is in lanes and I was in lane five with the Ripon man inside me. This is going to be a piece of cake I thought. At the off I went of fastish and was concerned to hear the patter of his spikes clearly keeping up with me round the first bend. Not wanting to be beating by someone fifteen years my senior, I ignited the afterburner down the back straight. All was well until I hit the final bend and the gas ran out, I slowed to a jog with legs like lead. I managed to reach the finish line in front and looked at my watch, bearing in mind the club mv60 record is 1.17 something, appalled to see 1.17 something. If I’d paced myself properly I’m sure I would have smashed the record to pieces.
The 800m was ten minutes later and called for different tactics! This time I let a speedy 65 year old go off and tucked in behind my mate from Ripon. I felt very comfortable and bided my time. At the final bend on lap two I set off passed him with ease and crossed the line stiill with good form. The club mv60 record was 3.07 and my watch showed 3.07. Clearly I ran too comfortably this race.
Fifteen minutes later was the 200m steeplechase with me and an mv35 wha had come third in the Horsforth 10k in the morning. I was sorely tempted to blob and might have if there had been more runners but I was there, I’d paid and Linda’s flight had been delayed 35 minutes so I had time to kill.
Twenty years ago I won because I hurdled the barriers with ease. I haven’t hurdled one since. In between times the springiness has all but left my legs and those barriers are solid timber and aren’t going to give if you hit them.
We set of, me sensibly, my ‘rival’ at full tilt. At the first hurdle I vaulted with my hands down. As I approached the second hurdle I couldn’t believe my eyes – my rival was on the track side clearly in distress clutching his calf. I chuckled at my luck and hand vaulted the hurdle only to land with my back facing down the track. I only had to finish and be overall Yorkshire Vets Champion for the Steeplechase again. I crossed the line, eventually in what is possibly the slowest winning time in the history of the event.
I know my time for the 800m was 1.06.55, so that record now should be mine. Sorry Trevor. I think my time for the 400m was 1.07.05 and if confirmed that would be just a Club Record. Possibly sorry Phil.
So within the space of under an hour I won three gold medals having run possibly the three worst races of my life. C’est la vie!!