In the week before this popular local race Otley AC members who had entered were dropping like flies with seasonal colds and the odd injury. Seven of us still managed to make it including Scott who decided to take advantage of the offer of a spare place.
Setting off from Otley in the thick fog I’d decided to layer up with a long sleeve top under my club vest and long tights over my knee length socks, something I really regretted later on as the sun came out at Ripley Castle and it was an unusually warm race day. It was great to see Jane Butler making a comeback after a long time off with various injuries, she was taking it steady and testing out how she felt yet. I think it’s safe to say it went well and she managed to run the whole way round which is not an easy task.
The route was slightly different from previous years and I was dreading the fact that the aptly named Birstwith Beast was even longer this year but I was up for the challenge and looking forward to testing if the hill sessions I’ve been doing with Liam have made a difference. Joanna, Laura and myself had talked about staying together and helping each other round in a bid to get under 1:39 and get a course PB. However, Laura was having an unusual off day so we separated just before the Beast and Joanna was off like a rocket, I kept trying to catch up but never got near enough to be in a position to consider getting past her. Whatever she is on at the mo I need some!
The hills were still as tough as ever but I did manage to run / walk them and they felt easier than previous years, also they weren’t quite as daunting so psychologically the hill sessions had really helped. For the last couple of miles I was running with another 5 ladies from various clubs and we kept taking it in turns being in the lead, I was determined to get past them at the end and a Wetherby lady obviously felt the same as we had a really good battle up the final hill into the court yard. Unfortunately, she won but I managed to beat the rest, I just imagined Liam stood at the top of the hill on a training night encouraging me to keep going and I managed to sprint my hardest to the top, thanks Liam (and no I didn’t stop till I went over the line).
Scott finished 4th which is a great result after time off with an injury and after giving blood on Tuesday, Laura had also struggled due to giving blood so we have decided that although giving blood is an amazing thing to do it’s best to avoid doing it the week you are racing!
Oh and I don’t know about anyone else but I preferred the new route, even the longer Birstwith Beast. Same again next year everyone?