Report from Howard:
I have had a bit of a niggling injury since August so my running training has been a bit sporadic. A park run here a race there and the stamina maintained by the swimming and biking. To remedy the injury I have filtered all the conflicting advice from the internet and scheduled the recovery action which I started a couple of weeks ago. It seemed to work as I finished the Guy Fawkes 10 with no ill effect albeit a couple of minutes down on the time I hoped for.
The organisers of the Harewood 10, my second claim club, Valley Striders, have changed the date and moved it into November from October. I have always entered this race and decided not to go to do the Dalby Dash in North Yorkshire which I had entered long since.
The previous few days had seen a lot of rain and about an hour before the start it was tipping it down again. Although there is a lot of made trails and tarmac there is an appreciable distance over fields and unmade paths so fast times were not going to be likely. The start is on grass which was a bit wet and squidgy (the rain had stopped) and this year it continued downhill and back up to join the trail up, up and up alongside the Harrogate road for about a mile. There is then a nice long descent where I made up some ground on one of my age group, John Ward of Abbey Runners. He remained ahead till about 5 miles when I overtook him on the road by Eccup reservoir. That would normally have been job done but today when we went over the fields the wet mud was extremely slippery and likewise the wet leaves through the woods. Normally I just let fly on the descents but I did not want to risk an injury so held back somewhat. John pushed ahead and I thought I would rein him in again on the flat or up the last very steep hill. Lack of speed work has left me without any zip at the moment so although I felt strong and was pushing I made no ground up on the flat. I gained a bit up the last hill but finished 23 seconds adrift 2nd in the age group. Stiff calves and thighs today but no real ill effects I don’t think.
The race was won in a surprisingly quick time of 55.35 by Daniel Jenkin of Durham City Harriers. 1st Lady in 33rd place was Claire Cooper of Keighley and Craven in 69.41. I came in 98th place in 79.20 having shared the experience with Andy Barker who was 123rd in 81.30 and Steven Smale, 156th in 84.58. Tom Potter 160th in 85.41. 319 finished.