Report from Tom Lynch:
This race combined two of my passions, getting up early and running on tarmac, and had nothing to do with this years ROTY competition, and the fact that it’s the last few weeks that I could get in a road race over 10km. My plan was nearly thwarted when the snow hit the country this weekend, and many races were cancelled, and it was nearly thwarted again when I heard they were re-routing the course. Worrying that they may shorten it below the precious 10km limit and ruin my plan of running the shortest possible ‘long’ road run, I was pleased to hear at the pre-race briefing that the now out and back course would turn at 3.5 miles. It also missed out the big hill of the day, as this was the part they couldn’t grit properly.
The route starts in Longridge near Preston, and it’s in the undulating countryside of the Ribble Valley. This made for a nice hill run, mostly uphill on the way out, and downhill on the way back, but with a few nice bumps on the way. I started out fairly conservatively, and ended up heading up a pack of about 6 or 7 runners in about 10th place coming up to half way. There was a bit of over taking, and being over taken, before the turning point, but I think I then managed to stretch away from the pack, and ended up on my own on the way in. This was the most pleasant part of the run having warmed up, and not hearing anyone close behind. I was greeted at the finish line with a full size christmas pudding (inexplicably it hadn’t occurred to me that I’d get one from the name of the race) and a medal almost the same size as the pudding. The winner of the race was Rob Danson (Wesham RR) in 38:01.41 (37:56.12 chip), first female was Amy Freeman (Darwen Dashers RC) 46:57.79 (46:51.19 chip), I was the only Otley representative, and I came in 10th in 44:31.97 (44:26.67 chip).