Report from Howard Jeffrey
This is a fast straight out and back 10K that is rising in popularity each year with 2000 entrants for today of whom 1714 finished. They had sensibly colour coded the numbers based on expected finish time although the ‘slow’ numbers seemed to be a long way back from the start. I was in the second echelon and moved as close to the start as numbers allowed and it still took 34 seconds to cross the start mat. At minus 5 degrees I had opted to be fully kitted out which I needed all the way round despite the sun coming out for the return leg, as in the shade it still felt witheringly cold. I had been out sorts since Thursday so lined up kind of ‘well rested’ or ‘ not sharp’ depending on how the run went. I was just behind Andy Webster at the off and he stepped lively away for the first kilometre. I felt OKish but chose not to go with him. I gradually warmed up and had overtaken him at about the 3K marker. Last year I had just got under 46 minutes but should have been in about 42.30 pace today. The 45 pacer seemed way in front and despite feeling quite strong there was no additional zip in the legs today. I am keeping an eye on the rivals in the next age category which I join later this year and was able to pass one, John, at about 6K. I had lost track of the other one, Dave, who was eventually first in the group. He always goes off strong and maintains the pace whereas I usually stoke it up as the race progresses, especially when it is difficult to warm up fully pre-start. I took the turn at 5K at about 23.40 which although 4 to 5 is deceptively steepish that was disappointingly slow given my hilly parkrun times recently. Thankfully today there was no wind in your face today and the return is downhill or flat all the way so I was able to give chase to the 45 pacer. Caught him at 7.5K and then saw Dave in the distance. Discomfort in races is something to be enjoyed so I increased the pace into the red zone but I think the cold meant I was in it sooner than I would have liked. Did manage a kick in the last few hundred metres and got with 15 seconds of Dave so still moderately competitive. I crossed the line in 43.56 chip time in 480th place which was solid enough. The race was won by Chris Parr of Jarrow and Hepburn AC in 31.22. First Lady Julie Briscoe Wakefield and District Harriers AC in 35.04 in 52nd place. Fellow Otley AC runners were: Scott Harrington, 32.57, 10th, Peter Crowder, 38.38, 185th, Chris Chambers,40.08 275th, Andy Webster 46.23 610th and Andrew Rayner, 51.48, 948th.