Howard Jeffrey reports from the Clowne Half-Marathon:
The Clowne Half-Marathon is a popular race and fills up early so I booked my place a long time ago and as the date approached I realised it was on Jacqueline’s birthday. Agh… major faux pas! Quite an important milestone one as well, so I crossed it out of my diary. For her birthday, my son had booked a ’’hairdo’ for her (yes, I know Sunday… right?). Obviously she had to go and she suggested I could perhaps do a race while she was there… saved!
I looked at past results for my age group and thought around 1:34:00 might be competitive (I did 1:34:57 in 2011). The course is quite undulating through pretty countryside and yesterday it was windless and cool and the rain stopped just before the start. Another perfect day for racing. The race is well organised and marshalled and there were 630 finishers. The race was won by Chris Jordan (Leicester Coritanian) in 1:12:30 and the first lady was Emily Collinge who, get this, was third in 1;15:03! Scary or what? No-one else from Otley although quite a few from Totley. I got a few cheers of thah’s from ‘t Otley on the way round!
I set off with the aim of 1:34:00 so tried for 7:00 to the first mile and got there in 7:10. On the ups I again held my own and on the downs felt the good effects of all the swimming and biking and felt quite strong. I took advantage of one particularly long hill and caught up someone I suspected was in my category from Barrow and overtook him at nine-miles. Went through 10 in 1:11;40 so was maintaining an average of 7:10’s. Barrow overtook me at 11-miles again and was obviously determined to make a race of it.
Not-one to turn down a challenge I tucked in behind for a while and still feeling great came alongside a couple of times to let him know I was still there. I kicked away towards the finish line and crossed in 1:34:01. in 108th place. That was second MV60 and within 30 seconds of first and relatively closer than at the Guy Fawkes 10 where the same guy was first again. Doing a bit more run training now the triathlon season has finished and have a place for the Brass Monkey Half. Sub 1:30:00 is the target, weather and training permitting.