Report from Howard Jeffrey:
Another targeted race saw 6 representatives from Otley turn up. I expect more tried to enter but this is one of those races that fills up faster than you can run it. The limit is 1200 I believe but there were only 795 finishers which is 400 no shows which is quite high even for a winter race. I have been doing this race for at least 25 years off and on and sometimes the weather has been atrocious. Not on Sunday however, apart from a stiff in your face breeze from about 7 miles which made for a testing run in along a straight open road. My plan for today was either to blast a 69 minute ( I have done several 57’s here in the distant past, so it’s all relative) and contest the age group or a steady 75 if Sara came and was up for a PB. I have been nursing a sore calf so I was rather hoping a day as pacer would get a good workout with less risk. Happily Sara was one of the other club members and we worked out the target as we warmed up. Sara has gone through 10 in sub 75 in half marathons but her PB was 77.52 so pretty ‘soft’ and beatable. Race pace of 7.23 per mile and we went through 1 in 7.20. I felt great but Sara was already struggling to breathe comfortably and suggested I pushed on. I was tempted as I still had sight of most of my rivals but thought ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’. Mile 3 still at target pace although Sara obviously working hard and not enjoying the trip out and I bet she was wishing I had ‘pushed on’ or something similar! We got to half way and I was checking regularly to see what was happening behind. Just go if you want she suggested a couple of times but we were still on for a 75. Her foot was hurting by now but was still moving well. Sorry but I still felt pretty good and was enjoying the day. The course is fairly flat with a couple of inclines and at 6 it gets to the ‘snakey lane’ bit and that rises up a bit to 7 where the wind was gusty and across till you hit the main road back into Pocklington. A bit of undulation and a relentless breeze into your face was going to make any PB well earned. I encouraged Sara to keep digging which she did and although disappointed with the time got a PB by 1.19. My calves were stiff after the race but in one piece whereas the PB was gained at the expense of sore knee and groin, probably brought on by the sore foot.
The Male and Female winners of the race seem to have disappeared from the results so I don’t know what has happened there so Tristan Learoyd of New Marske Harriers in 55.12 appears top and a dead heat between Josephine Stone and Georgia Campbell for first ladies in 1.01.00. For Otley, Peter Crowder was first home in a brisk 1.04.33, them me in 1.16.24, Sara Elliott in 1.16.33 (PB), Elizabeth Yates in 1.20.40, Andrew Rayner ,1.24.19 and Ann Yeadon in 1.25.11, all chip times. Full set of results here. What next? The Norton 9.