Hold the back page, Howard’s weekly race report is here, the suspense is over.
The weather today for the Denby Dale Travellers 6 was as favourable as it has ever been in the innumerable years I have been competing in this challengingly hilly course in ‘pork pie’ country. Bright , cool, dry and very little breeze made for a perfect set of conditions, so quite a surprise that the field looked relatively small at the ‘pre-start briefing’. Max number was 300 but only 190 brave-hearts finished. I chatted to Mark before the start and he is returning to form after a hamstring niggle. As for me I have been a bit flat recently and on half pot training, so was here to see what the day would hold. The course is either up or down all the way and some of the hills are long if not particularly steep. I set off steady but found I felt OK up the first mile of hill. Managed to reel in a couple of obviously same age groupers on the long down to 2 miles. Thought I could see a couple of other likely competitors in my age group, one was long gone but the other was still in my sights at the top of the hill up to 3 miles. There is then a long downhill to just short of 4 miles and to which the course ramps up. I kept pace with a couple of younger guys down the hill instead of my usual gravity assisted plunge into ‘terminal velocity’. I had done that last year and struggled up the hill towards five miles but today there was gas in the tank and I left the guys behind and closed up a bit on my target. The route goes down from five miles, with a couple of short sharp inclines up to the finish. I pushed on and was at the heels of my target at 5.5 miles. He is a fellow Wakefield Triathlon club member (not the one I thought it was, much younger but grey haired). He tried to shake me off on the downs but I kept a bit in reserve and again up the hills he tried to leave me behind. Ha Ha not today and I was able to storm past in the last few hundred yards. Turns out I was actually first o/60 today in 43.47 ( 2.5 minutes faster than last year) in 34th place. Mark was 10th in 38.35 and first MV55. The race was won by Adam Peers of Wakefield Harriers in 33.28. First lady was Margaret Sykes of Holmfirth Harriers AC, in 29th position in 40.29