Report from Howard
I did not run at all during the week so did not know how it would go today. Conditions were pretty good albeit slightly chilly out of the sun. Lined up a bit too far back from the front as the path is quite narrow and going is slow for the first mile. I was not too bothered as I was not aiming to contest the age group today. This is a pretty tough course and is down and up and down for the first couple of miles and then for the other 8. Between 1 and 2 miles I caught up the age group winner the year before last, Richard, and decided to let him pace me round as he always has a strong finish, Just past mile 3 there is a long steep hill which he walked then jogged up then walked then… etc. I thought if that is how he gets to a strong finish I will too. There are some nice long descents followed by some tough hills all the way to the finish. Last year’s winner in the age group kept overtaking then falling behind and we eventually lost him at about mile 7. Richard did not know I was following him step for step though I thought he might have guessed as supporters kept yelling come on Otley. Each time he did look round I was co-incidently out of his line of sight so he was only racing the winner from last year. Up the last but one hill after mile 8, I overtook him when he started to walk and had a good solid run in to the finish but this year he was not nearly so strong as usual. The organisers said there was a generous prize list so I hung around expecting to have come 2nd which I did and Richard hung on for third which was also rewarded. The race was won by Andrew Grant of Harrogate Harriers in 56.19. First lady was Faye Birkby of Pudsey Pacers, 31st in 1.06.12. I was 191st in 1.21.54 Quite a few Otley representatives: Andy Webster 1.25.55, Ann Yeadon 1.30.24, Laura Oliver 1.31.47, Phil Robinson 1. 32.40 Age group 1st, Sara Richard 1.39.19, Joanna Hobson 1.39.21, Billy Rayner 1.43.43, Jane Butler 1.48.25, Debra Brown 1.53.30. We all got a long sleeve T shirt, a bag full of chocolate bars and some Taylors tea to wash it all down with. 797 finished. I reckon if I had not dithered at the start or walked up the hills I could have done much gooder!