A proper taper this time with no speed work on Thursday, easy running on Friday and a gym session on Saturday. This meant that the legs were fresh and ready for the challenge. Having done fast paced runs of around 16 miles on the previous 3 Sundays I was more than ready to race this one.
The race is now an out and back course along the A642 Horbury road, setting off at the side of Thornes Park. This is different to the previous course around the city, which had more bends and turns.
At the start point the wind didn't seem too bad but as soon as we hit the main road there was a strong headwind. The legs felt good at that time and I settled into a rhythm, having focused on some runners who are capable of sub 34 mins. Tim Midgeley(Bingley), John Broom(Holmfirth) and Andy Whitworth(Meltham) were in the group with me. I felt very comfortable with the pace. I was also happy that the front runners were not disappearing out of sight, which can only mean they are also slowing with the strong head wind. I prefer racing in a group rather than out alone, this seems to make you focus more and the race pass by quicker. On the negative side it can also make you go faster than you are capable of. I was aware of this but felt I had built the fitness to take these guys on -that's what my mind was saying anyway.
At around the 5k turn round point Tim Midgeley fell off the pace and eventually pulled out of the race altogether. It then became a battle between Andy Whitworth and myself, with Daniel Fisher(Valley Striders) and Paul Humphries(Rotherham) joining in. Again, I felt fit enough to take it to the line and it was just a matter of knowing when to go for it. At the 9k marker I decided to go, I sprinted to the line clocking 5-19 for the last mile and just missing out on a sub 35. I was slightly disappointed with the time but pleased that I had won the battle with the group that I was with. I came second V45 with Carl Thackery taking first V45 by quite a long way.