Report from Howard:
To those who can’t face another race report from me ……. look away now! For those who are now hooked, I flew the flag for Otley again at the appropriately named Leeds 10K challenge. I lined up feeling good (at last… been feeling jaded in the blocks recently) and another perfect still, cool, sunny race day. Full results to follow as not out yet. What chance of a category win? …Slim!! Last year’s group winner Pete Johnson from Scarborough AC, course record holder and age group winner of the Abbey Dash, a minute and a half quicker than me, so no slouch. I last beat him in 2006!!
We set off on the John Charles stadium track doing one circuit which was great for spreading the field of 350 plus and then out across some slippery grass to a short stretch of road. Pete had pulled away as I expected and I worked out at that rate he would be a minute and a half ahead again. After the short stretch of tarmac the route is basically one and a half K up a relatively steep, wet, leafy trail then straight back down a tarmac carriage way (beware the rumble strips) and then round again another twice!!
Going up the first hill, I thought I actually feel pretty strong (it has got to be the turbo training) and instead of losing ground or holding my own, I was actually passing people. I had caught up Pete by the top of the hill and hitting the descent he tried to leave me behind. I like to think my downhill is the terrestrial equivalent of free-fall so I kept on his heels and still felt comfortable. It was set up to be a great race and it was cat and mouse till we got back to the stadium for the finish on the track. 300 meters with the after burners on gave me first o/60 in 43.00.
Two photos this time of the ‘hunter and the hunted’ at the bottom of the first hill and the ‘sweetness of victory’