Another quality 23 mile week culminated in an excellent 10K race inaugurated by the recently formed Bentham Beagles Running Club. Considering this North Yorkshire club only came into existence nine months ago the presentation and organization of this event was of a very high standard indeed, a real credit to members and all who turned out to help on the day.
Race route and profile
Prior to the 11am start lots of runners assembled on the sports field for some orchestrated aerobics to loosen and warm up muscles in readiness for the 'off'. It was by no means an easy race, and it began as it seemed to go on, and on - mainly uphill! I believe I heard that dreaded word 'undulating' used to describe the course but, to my mind, anything in excess of 600ft is hilly. Moreover, the uphill bits seem to go on for most of the route whilst the downhill bit is a fast, steep descent over the last mile.
Warming up by the clubhouse
I set off as I meant to go on, at a comfortable steady rhythm I intended to maintain whatever was thrown at me. The last three miles felt anything but steady but I was determined not to lose my placing. Cheered on by marshals and uplifted by the magnificent panorama over Wenningdale to Ingleborough, Whernside and Gragareth, I'd actually got into overtaking mode before reaching the high point at 560ft with just over a mile to go. I latched onto Julia Rolfe of Lytham St Annes for the final steep descent and we shared the pace-making to the Finish. "Go on" I told her, "I'll follow you in". And off she went at a great rate of knots. I hadn't the heart to challenge her.
Thankyou very much - but where's my shoe?
I finished 38th of 79 runners in 54.31 minutes with over half the field trailing behind me, including fellow octogenarians Mike Walsh of Wesham RR (61.24) and John Nettleton of Great Langdale A.C. (72.50). The animal was happy. Well, reasonably! Most of the prize-winners were awarded an ornamental running shoe duly engraved with their category or placing, but there wasn't one for the MV80's. They hadn't been expecting doddery old geriatrics turning up so had only ordered prizes up to MV70, or so I was told by the vivacious Valerie as she handed me a rather nice bottle of wine. It wasn't until some time afterwards when my old brain clicked into gear, as it occasionally does, that I thought "Hang on a minute, I WAS the first MV70, so who took my prize?" Ah well, maybe next year. Full results here: