Report from Howard Jeffrey
I last did the Pudsey 10K maybe 20 years ago and I remember it being quite hilly. I entered it again this year for two reasons, one: it was a ‘targeted’ club race and two: it is part of the Leeds race series which I am contesting. The Otley AC ranks were swelled by the presence of, Sarah, Robin, Billy and Ged. The start was at 10.45, time enough for the blazing sun to be high in the sky and give us all a roasting. So remember rule number one, don’t set off too fast, (easier said than done as we probably all know to our cost). My plan for today was around 50 minutes as looking at the results for last year it did not look like a fast course. After a steady downhill start along a shady street and then through a wood we arrived at the first moderate hill and past the 1K mark in 7 minutes, probably a sustainable pace for me. On to a slight incline then up again along the road. I kept to the left to get what shade there was from the parked cars and hedges. There were some narrow rutted tracks to negotiate both up and down where it was not easy to pass those who had set off too fast or who are slower down the hills so some time was lost there. I was not too concerned as I had not seen my Leeds race series rivals, and they were either miles ahead and gone, miles behind and beaten or not there at all. The route levelled off at the top for a bit after ‘leaping’ a narrow ford at the bottom and it was then the sun started to beat down. A welcome drinks station to douse the smouldering flesh and imbibe some water to make it to the finish. I recollect a great downhill stretch where I was able to open up the stride and overtake some flagging runners. Went through 5K in 24.57 which was still the target pace. At around 6K there was another really tough incline where most people around me were walking up (almost as quickly as I was running!). That seemed to go on for a long time and the finish time was looking insecure. Saved by a couple of kilometres of downhill along the road and even though the heat was now coming back off the tarmac and there was a sting in the tail of a 500m climb up to the finish where I arrived in 50.07. All in all a pretty gruelling race. I had remembered it was hilly but this new route (changed when the foot and mouth outbreak occurred) was a lot more testing. The race was won by John Hobbs of Valley Striders in 36.42, first lady was Ellie Kitchen of Bingley Harriers in 45.40. Robin was a creditable 7th in 40.07 and probably unbeknown to him he will get the first M35 prize through the post as although 3rd the other two got the placings prizes. I was hanging around to find out if I was first o/60 which was a strong possibility given the overall times due to course and conditions. Otley was mentioned again as probably also unbeknown to Sarah she was first F45 in 111th place in 52.36 so the prize will also be in the post. I was first 0/60 in 74th place and Billy in 219th place in 59.39 ( he was aiming to be under the hour and actually looked as fresh as a daisy at the finish). Ged was 253rd in 1.02.52 and had found the going very tough indeed. We had discussed the pros and cons of white or black shirts before the race and Ged’s was the only black one (just saying). 454 finished and none of my Leeds race series rivals were there so paradoxically an ‘easy’ win for me. Next stop Dusseldorf European sprint triathlon championships next Sunday.
Provisional Results here