Report from Howard:
I had a number for the Richmond Castle 10K but remember the rather wearisome drive up the A1 a couple of years ago. 10 miles around York seemed much more appealing so I entered that as well. Not to do both obviously but to have the choice even though I knew York it would be. The marathon was starting at 9.30 and the 10mile at 10.15 each with thousands of participants. That meant maybe heavy traffic, road closures and parking difficulties if not carefully planned. I put an old trail bike in the car in case I had to park miles away and ride in. I was lucky and got a slot quite near the University where the start was. At least I thought so! 25 minutes’ walk away and back which I did before the start. Glad of the bike to go back for the scheduled start. Good warm up prep as the slight wind was quite chilly till about 10.00 when the sun came up into clear blue sky. Nigh on perfect conditions. For such a mass event the start was very well organised into predicted finish times and a 100m draw forward to the actual start line. Had a chat with Peter Crowder who was aiming for 64 minutes and he had spoken to Scott who had been targeting the marathon today. My Target for today (sounds like bomber command) was to try and dip under 70 minutes. I set off behind the 70 minute pacer who I had overheard say the first mile was fast (downhill). Well he went off quickly and since I have probably been racing longer than he has been alive, I decided to trust my own pace judgement. He was way ahead when I went through mile one in 6.27. The crowds were cheering enthusiastically as we went through York centre and when we returned from the open country through the suburbs. As you can imagine the going is fairly flat apart from the early descent to mile 1 and then a slight drag up to 4. The pacer had settled into a more appropriate pace and I was at last in the group at mile 5 just behind him at 30 seconds under schedule. Conditions were ideal and I felt OK and decided to go with the pace till 8.5 and then push on. I am glad I did because we had to come back up most of the first hill towards the finish which was 500m from the start. A nice descent through rapturous crowds and a big screen with live commentary announcing the finishers. I crossed the line in 69.40 (69.32 chip) which is my fastest 10m for a while so well pleased. Peter also clocked 63 something so also had a good day out. No results yet so don’t know names or times or positions or even if other Black and Whites were there.