Report from Howard Jeffrey
The longer the distance the more effect the weather has on the performances. Today it was wet, cold and blustery. The course is all on road but only one short stretch between miles 8 and 9 is level. On the whole of the rest of the course you are either going up or down. The hills are thankfully not severe but still enough to be a bit of a challenge. Time to recover on the downs despite the wind though. 853 people entered and 687 finished so I think the prospect of a slog through the elements deterred quite a few despite it being the Derbyshire championships. The start had changed this year and was organised into anticipated finishing times which I like. I lined up in the 1.30 to 1.45 section anticipating a 1.35 finish because of the weather and course which I know well even given the few alterations to improve the route this year. I set off steadily at what I thought was a sustainable pace and went through mile one in 7.15. I steadily passed all the optimists who had started in the sub 1.30 section over the next 5 miles and then the order was more or less established to the finish. As the race wore on the damp and the wind chill were noticeable and even the water at the drinks stations was too chilly to drink today. I managed to keep steady all the way round and averaged 7.15’s to finish in 1.35.32, 83rd overall. Another best time of the year and second ( by a minute) in the age group. The winner was Phil Skelton of Steel City Striders in 1.16.41 ( I know that is fast but for a winning time which here is normally under 1.12 must reflect the conditions). First Lady was Fiona Kesteven of Totley in 1.30.23 in 38th place. We got a T shirt and a hoodie so at the end we were able to stand around mumbling about the race with other individuals with hidden faces: it was like being a teenager again!
Full results here