18 miles and 1373m of ascent, AL
It’s a long time since I’ve done a race in the Peak District (and an AL race) and I’ve always fancied this one. This is a very old and historic race, though the course was changed this year to add another hill climb to compensate for the flagging of a couple of miles of previously energy sapping bog.
So whilst most were cavorting on the East Coast I did the 2hr drive to this race on a gorgeous day. Fortunately the clocks had changed so I lost an hour in bed, but got to see a lovely dawn. Based at Edale village hall and well organised;even chip timing.
So off we set for the first climb to the edge of the Kinder plateau, and hot work it was too, I left a t shirt at the first (and also last) checkpoint. Note to self and top tip: taking a T shirt off mid race is much easier if you haven’t pinned your vest to it.
Lovely running along the edge led down to Ladybower Reservoir (think dam busters) and then a tough climb up to Win hill and very steep descent into Hope, followed immediately by the crawl up Loose hill which leads to wonderful running along the ridge passing Mam Tor and Rushup Edge. You are doing a clockwise circuit above the valley with very fine view of the whole course and beyond. There is a bit of a drawback that this area is very popular with walkers and the public so there was a fair amount of dog hurdling and tourist slaloming.
The route now goes north around the head of the dale, in an area that is a notorious energy sapping bog. However this has been flagged and is a fast motorway now. Some are unhappy with this, but not me. You have to be pragmatic about paths given the amount of users. Much better than a 5 yard trench across the moor. So on to Edale Cross and back along the edge of Kinder passing the most wonderfully sculptural gritstone boulders, and on a proper fell path with bog and plenty of hazards. I was pleased to feel OK at this point and picked of a few folk on this section, which crosses the Pennine way. A fine descent lead to the finish in a field. After a miserable winter of hypothermic wet races this was a delight, run in perfect conditions.
I had heard a rumour during the race that there was pie at the end and I wasn’t disappointed, unlimited tea and cakes to follow and met a couple of DPFR friends that I hadn’t seen for years.
Chris Steele, Borrowdale, 2.47.45, had a major tussle with Jack Wood of Ilkley beating him by 12 seconds Sally Fawcett DPFR was 35th and first woman, 3.32.35
I was 226th out of 293 starters in 4.45.37
Full results here
Our Absolute Beginners group is for anyone wanting to have a go at running, regardless of ability. Find them on their Facebook page or email email@example.com.
Buying something online, check out this easy way of giving the club a bit of extra funds on the Otley AC easyfundraising site here. So far up to 08/01/2017 we’ve managed to raise a fantastic £155.43.
Otley 10 online entry see details on the Otley 10 page.
A reminder of other forthcoming events in the near future:
Harrogate League – Tom Hannah will be down Tuesday & Thursdays for next few weeks handing out Harrogate League numbers. The cost is £5 for five races (Actual cost £10 but club pay £5). Numbers will be issued on receipt of £5 payable to Tom or online (please put your name and HL as ref so Ian can identify the payments). PLEASE NOTE If you register but do not take part in any of the races the club still has to pay for the number. Therefore you may be asked to pay the full £10 if you have registered but do not take part.
Structured training - Hills and Speed sessions return each Thursday from the 6th October, and occasionally on a Tuesday a hills session.
Saturday 1st April – Pendle FR, West Nab FR (Holmfirth)
Sunday 2nd April – Wakefield Hospice 10k, Fountains 10k
Tuesday 4th April – (11th, 18th, 25th) – Bunny Run FR’s – (Age 12+).
Sunday 9th April – Vale of York 10, Yorkshire Half – Sheffield
Sunday 16th April – Guiseley Gallop
Monday 17th April – Ackworth Half
Thursday 27th April – Race 4 of the Eric Smith Handicap Trophy, Fewston Handicap, 7:15pm start
Sunday 18th June - Pudsey 10k]]>
Belated race report following my return from Malta and having competed in this race two years ago http://otleyac.org.uk/2015/02/22/sunday-22nd-february-vodafone-malta-half-marathon/ I took the opportunity to give it a go again this time.
It was held a couple of weeks later and it was certainly considerably warmer.
The race was won by Poland’s Miereczko Maclek in 69.28 and the first lady was Malta’s Lisa Bezzina 44th overall in 82.07.
I was pleased to finish 41st and fourth MV45 in 81.58 – I slowed up significantly after ten miles since I don’t often get that far in training nowadays.
Newspaper report http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20170305/local/malta-marathon.641473
Historic results for the full and half marathons https://www.maltamarathon.com/2017_vodafone_malta_marathon.htm
Like 2015 I chanced again on meeting Liam Dunn’s friend from Ireland Cyril Cuddy (75.47) at the start and also his friend James Hamm (75.02) both representing Nuparc A.C. and we all agreed Liam was a grand lad.
I was passed at 5km by the excellent athlete Gary Pennington from Preston Harriers who (presumably recognising my Otley A.C. vest) asked if I knew the split but I’d forgotten to start my stopwatch (lack of recent race practice). Gary quickly explained he’d missed the start as the race set off five minutes earlier than advertised. I feel he did remarkably well then to go on and finish tenth in 73.58 chip time.
I haven’t any race photos from this time because I don’t do the Book of Faces but I attach one from 2015. Basically this time round imagine the same but with sunshine and I was wearing a cap.
Living in Yorkshire for as long as I have you come to expect sun, heat and stable weather to greet you when you pull your inov-8s on. No such luck on Sunday! It was very wet, very windy and rather chilly; who’d have thought it?!
This race was the epitome of ‘low-key’, starting on a trading estate with a mumbled ‘go then’ and a hooter from the RO to set us off. It’s not the epitome of a fell race though, with a mile on flat but very muddy towpath, followed by x-country style fields and gate-hopping, before a very steep climb through some woods (hopefully you’ve all seen the photo of Antonio using his ingenuity to get up this). You’re then back on some incredibly boggy and cow-trodden fields, where I lost some time on a couple of chaps, one of which was like a gazelle over the gates. Getting on to the moor ‘proper’ was a relief from the bog of eternal stench.
On my CIRF course I’d been advised that the hands-on-knees way of getting up steep terrain may not be the best, and keeping a springy, upright style may be better, so I tried this out and to my surprise, reeled in the two lads who’d got away earlier who were walking up with aforementioned style. This race were trying out a wrist-band style chip-timing system this year, so there was a bit of a delay while the guy in front of me tried to get his to register, then we were off down the moor for some fast running. I managed to overtake the two in front and put some good distance between us, taking advantage of the hills. Skiing back down through the woods was fun, and I was soon chasing down the next runner, although when we got on the tow-path he had a great turn of speed and I couldn’t close the gap.
I finished in 7th place in 1.01.33 (although my watch says 40s quicker) with the winner being Joe Baxter of P&B in 54.22.
Ladies winner was Rachel Pilling also P&B in 1.05.47
Antonio finished in 2.28.54.
On a very blustery Sunday morning I travelled alone, with Sara Elliott pulling out on the morning of the race due to tight calf muscles and feeling under the weather, to Thirsk for the 10 mile race which is usually well supported by Otley AC. On leaving Otley with the wind and rain I wasn’t really looking forward to the race but when I arrived at Thirsk there was very little wind. After picking up my number I bumped into Eriks and Rogan before making the long walk to the start line on the other side of the race course with the wind picking up. We bumped into Liz and Chris Wordsworth (formerly of this Parish) who were marshalling at the start and also handing out jelly babies at mile 9. Despite a few spots of rain before the start the sun came out and conditions were warm although the wind had picked up to such an extent that running was difficult, almost bringing you to a standstill at times. Having tight adductor muscles didn’t help matters either. Rogan Ashton was first home for Otley in 1:03:34 followed by Eriks Zvaigne in 1:23:01, Ged Peacock in 1:25:43 and myself in 1:26:51.
The race was won by Graham Rush of Cheltenham Harriers in 50:36 and first lady in 43rd place was Faye Banks of Pontefract Athletics Club in 1:01:04.
I booked this race a while ago and having run it twice before, I decided to get some 10k speed in. Upon waking I saw t’weather and set off to run there as warm up, therefore giving me marathon miles-that precious commodity!
You don’t want to know about the run there although it was pleasant enough especially getting to run the back 3 miles of the route with no one on the road. I felt like a superhero ready to win it for real. Anyhow, I arrived and did my customary laps of the mirror pool before settling down for the miles ahead. The route goes through an exciting downhill section, a small hill then quickly into the flat that leads past Frizinghall. It’s a pretty bland route but strangely exciting: those expansive roads, wide corners and a brass band or two on the way to keep you entertained. I was surprised by my pace which was quickish and was in touching distance of the lead pack.
This lasted about two miles before I dug deep in anticipation of the second hill which leads you towards the 5k turn. The second hill was lovely ( said with no hint of irony ) and I turned on 17 minutes. I realised a monumental second 5k would be needed to PB and settled down ready to be monumental. But still, I was endur…sorry enjoying the run and saw the wind as a pleasant ally, blowing away the cobwebs of last weeks Spen 20 ( poetic that aint it? ). Moving on, I ran with this guy from Hyde Park and entered mighty Bradford City Centre. The roar that greeted me was quite impressive and I sprinted for home. I went over the mat in 35:40 in 7th place. My advice for this one is to make it your focus 10k for the year. Train like mad and you will do well. If I can, at 39 years old, anyone can.
Thanks again to the hospitality of Colin I traveled up to the Northumberland, this time for a trail race in Thrunton Woods which is a few miles west of Alnwick. The Thrunton Thriller advertises 2 races a 10k ish and a Halfish Marathon, the emphasis being on the ‘ish’. The races are a mixture of pretty much every type of off road running you could think of, rough woodland, fallen trees to leap/duck under, wide forest tracks, steep rocky climbs and descents, heathery/muddy/swampy moorland.
The 10k is basically a big clockwise route with a bit of an out and back at the start and finish, the Half a couple of extra loops one at start another near the end of the 10k. Oh and just as you think you’re coming to the finish the organisers added a short quarter of a mile or so scramble up the steep bank near the start/finish area, just for a bit of fun?
It was the Half for me, 10k for Colin, after a very lethargic start on the first loop I started to feel a bit better as I started to catch the tail end of the 10k race enjoying the twisting route through heart of the woods. A long climb the, “Hill of Doom” brought us out to the windy open moorland, where I caught up to Colin with his dog Monty. A long boggy drag through the heather took us to the next race split, a mile or so to go for the 10k, 5 ish for me with a 4 ish mile loop.
Not having a watch and running round in circles in foreign woods, I had no idea at any point where I was or how far I had left, the aim was just to follow the well marked route until I got back to the finish! Back on the combined route and back to passing the 10k runners I thought it must be all down hill back to the finish, well it should have been! However along with lots of other folk I ended up reversing the initial extra loop, adding the best part of two miles doh… which I didn’t realise till after, so I ended up doing over 15 miles, not the 13.5, but I wasn’t too bothered. Colin managed to take the correct route back gaining lots of places, finishing 19th, Monty taking the honours as 1st dog..
Results: 10k (more like 8.5 miles), 1st Scott Watson 1:22:21, 19th, 1st V60, Colin Best 1:51:35, Half, (~13.5 miles) 1st John Butters 1:51:54 possibly or (unnamed runner 1:51:46)? I was (approx. maybe) 22nd, 2:24:45. As somebody accidentally or otherwise nabbed my number I was given replacement & appear as an unnamed runner 498… Full results of sorts here, some photos here.]]>
The duathlon season started for me on Saturday and I ventured down to Clumber Park to do the standard distance of 10k run, 40K bike and finished off with a 5K run. It is a beautiful part of the world but if I am able to admire the scenery I am not racing hard enough. The race was a qualifier for the world age group championships in Penticton, Canada later in the year and next year’s European championships at a venue to be decided. I like a mystery. I had already pre-qualified for Canada last year by surviving the heat of Alviles in Spain better than my rivals (they set of too fast and burned up). So the test was to get an automatic place for the Euro’s. I had reviewed the start list and thought I would be in about eighth place which is out of auto placing (the top 4 in the age group) and in the realms of fingers crossed for a roll down. All was not lost as the fastest in the age category (a professional triathlon coach) will be in the next age group so I did not have to worry about him. Four guys in my age group and two moving up an age group, whose previous times were all better. The chap who finished second was yesterday in front but I had followed him out on the first 10K and it was like being paced. I got to the transition just in front but I felt I could have gone quite a bit faster although I did not want to pay for it on the bike like I did last year. It turned out he had not realised it was a Euro qualifier for next year so had not registered so another one less to worry about. Just as well as he shot off on the bike and was never seen again. My bike ride was two minutes faster than last year despite a strong wind on the two lap circuit. Transitions were fairly good and the last 5K felt ‘comfortably difficult’. I was within a minute of last years’ time which I was pleased with having had a virus over Christmas and missing two races with a stiff calf. Qualification was going to be hard as these races are more and more popular and people are keen to sport the GB kit and the field was 25% bigger than last year and it was my first time on the bike since last October so not yet race sharp. Two other guys in my age group finished in front and one from the lower group so I managed to finish in sixth place in the age group and the fourth registered so automatic qualification. I was able to grit my teeth and out-race the other two who I expected to finish in front.
I did have to feel sorry for an 80 year old who finished the race, had registered for the worlds but got disqualified for ‘nudity’. He was just getting out of wet kit which is hard enough and he was trying to be discreet about it but fell foul of the rules. I have emailed British Triathlon to intercede and get him re-instated if they can.]]>