Thirsk race course provides a perfect venue for the race - with ample car parking, toilet facilities, refreshments and off road areas for warming up. Perhaps the only thing missing would be shower facilities, which I find are most useful when you are spending time after the race shopping and sight see-ing etc.
A quarter mile jog to the start was a useful pre-race warmer. In the line up were a mix of runners, some preparing for Spring marathons, some recovering from injury and others who are just very friendly and seem to be at every race that I do. I noticed Andrew Pearson from Longwood Harriers in the line up along with Spen team mate Kevin Ogden, local runner Gary Dunn, Sarah Jarvis(Bingley), Marc Teasy(Bingley)Marc Hall(Otley), Martin Firth(Queensbury), John Broom(Barnsley), Tim Midgely(Bingley), Mike Burrett(Leeds) and Will Kerr(St Bedes).
The race started steady and even Andrew Pearson didn't bolt off. This allowed for a fair size group to form. Those that I recognized in the group were, Kevin Ogden, Gary Dunn and Marc Hall. After approximately one mile Andrew Pearson opened a gap with Mike Burrett giving chase. I was aware of Gary's injury and wasn't sure whether this was an 'ankle tester' or a serious race for him. Either way I was happy with the pace at that point. Team mate Kevin was slightly in front and we were gaining ground on him. Marc Hall was slightly in front of him and not gaining on us. The group were holding together at 5-25 mileing and I was quite surprised then how easy it felt. I think it was at about the five mile point that the group split up and I was running alongside Kevin after that. The early fast pace was now beginning to tell and after getting to the five mile point in 27-51 the legs were hurting. We then caught up and passed Tim Midgely from Bingley who tore off his number, probably after realising it was an off day and runners were passing him in droves. I think the race turn round point was about 7 miles and that's where Kevin gained the advantage and I didn't have the legs to respond. Closer to the finish Will Kerr charged passed me and I got to the finish in 57-27 - identical time to 2008. A bright T shirt, small trophy and £25 cash. Then a picnic nosh up, a walk round Thirsk town center and a drive up to Ripon. All in all a good day out.
Mile splits; 1= 5-24, 2 = 5-31, 3 = 5-34, 4 = 5-40, 5 = 5-41, 6 = 5-47, 7 = 5-50, 8 = 5-53, 9 = 5-57, 10 = 5-57.
Well done to the wheelchair athletes too.