Sunday 9th March – Spen 20

Sunday 9th March – Spen 20

A must run event for those in marathon training mode saw a good turnout for Otley with the race won by someone called Scott Harrington in 1:52:02. Yes, our very own Scott. First lady was Shona Fletcher (Richmond & Zetland) in 02:09:11.

Other times were: 50 Tom Potter 2:26:13, 99 Robin Outterside 2:38:52, 173 Andrew Webster 2:58:27, 210 Lisa Maughan 3:13:10, 223 Andrew Rayner 3:18:21, 235 Stephen Boddy (3:24:15) and 256 Sean O’Halloran 4:03:22.

And a few words from Sean: There was a good turn out from OAC for the Spen 20 race. The sun was out and with a cool breeze conditions were near perfect for running. I was very nervous ahead of the race, I had never ran that distance before and I had been told it was a tough course.

It became apparent early on that I was going to sweeper for the day and bring up the rear. But I did not mind, meant I could run my own race as I was treating it as a training run. The course is very hilly and some of the hills went on forever.

However, support along the way and excellent marshalling meant the miles were ticking by. I got to 14 miles okay and then it became tough, really tough and I contemplated in giving up. But I have never got a DNF and I was not going to start now.

I dug deep, gritted my teeth and ploughed on proving this southerner is not soft (must be the Yorkshire Water). Slowly the miles ticked off and once past the water stop for the last time it was a park run to the finish. Eventually I made it back to the running track and following a final lap I had done it. It hurt, I almost gave up but completed it in 4:03:22.

And from Stephen Boddy:

Another beautiful spring morning was the backdrop for the Spen 20, a race that people had told me was ideal marathon practice. So with my impending marathon in mind, it was through duty rather than pleasure that I dragged myself to run 20-miles around Cleckheaton on a day more suited to sitting or drinking.

I picked Robin O up and urged him not to attempt the Spen 35 or anything similar (see the Trollers Trot). We arrived at the athletics stadium and bumped in several OAC runners, the first of who was Liam (who ended up a DNF) who told Robin to take the heavy duty fleece off from under his vest. “Yer not f***ing running in that are you?” was the exact quote, I believe.

The race started with a lap around the track where one runner saw his chance for a moment of glory and streaked ahead, but as the front runners left the track I saw Scott ominously picking up the pace behind the leader.

I personally spent the first four miles dying for the loo which was my own fault for over hydrating to try and quell the extreme dehydration I was suffering. I was not at all confident of even finishing and was going through a particularly deep trough around seven miles when from around the corner burst Scott coming the opposite way at an outrageous pace. I waited to see when the second place runner would come past, and waited… and waited… an impressive lead had already been built.

The miles ticked away quite nicely for a while up until around mile 17 where I really started struggling and also when my watch irritatingly ran out of batteries. I had been looking forward to the last downhill mile but that ended up being a bit too steep and a nightmare on my knees.

I was very impressed with the marshalling of this race, no chance of Robin getting lost and they gave lots of encouragement. They were also very informative and kept telling me that “your lad’s won it, Otley”, and “your lad won it over an hour ago, Otley”, which was nice but a tad demoralising. One marshal also raised the question “1 hour 54 mins he did it in, but is he quicker than Fisher?”.

Aside from Scott, there looked to be some excellent times from Otley Acers, so hats off to you all. I myself was pleased to drive all the way home without cramping up.

12 thoughts on “Sunday 9th March – Spen 20

  1. It certainly was a tough one, “never again” were the first words I said when I crossed the line 😉

    Well done Scott, absolutely fantastic performance, you looked so comfortable when you flew passed me. As for Sean, really well done, London will be a walk in the park for you now!

    Well done to all my fellow runners and a big thank you to Gemma for the support and the flapjack!

  2. Well done to all – especially Scott. There were more members in this than show – Stephen Boddy, and others?

  3. 3 1/2 minutes in front of 2nd, over 7 minutes ahead of 3rd! Enough said.
    Well done everyone on what sounds like a touch course.

  4. Congratulation to Scott for the victory ,and compliments to all the members who ran this tough two laps course that I ran in 2004 and fail to ran it in 2002 because of the traffic on the road, I arrived to the track too late and they were already gone by 20 minutes.I am impressed by Sean who is improving by the day and by running a 20 miles like he did on Sunday morning it is indeed an a great achievement that deserve a mention .

  5. Bloody hell Scott looking at the stats above that’s awesome! Well done Sean, you are also awesome, you’re obviously an honorary northerner after that effort to finish the course.

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