Not the ideal prep for this race; it was a preplanned meal on Saturday night at Red Hot Buffet in Leeds with a group of friends. This place has probably got the largest selection of performance inhibitors gathered in one place, but it would be silly to spoil things, avoid all the puddings and munch on salad all night. It's also been a hard week of training, the Thirsk 10 mile last Sunday and a hard speed work session Thursday night. The only good thing was the race was local and less than five miles from my house to the race start. I had my number so I didn't have to get up too early.
It's an 'out and back' course but certainly not flat. The race start is elevated and there is a short distance of downhill until it meets the main road. Some runners can get carried away with this downhill bit and then suffer later in the race. I was happy to set off steady and increase the pace later if I could. Kevin O set off fairly quick and I tried to dig in and 'claw him back'. One of my main rivals at V45 class, Duncan Clarke, was a good way in front of me in the first two miles. I did wonder if I had set off too slow. I then noticed I was gaining ground on him and overtook in the next mile. Tricky Ricky Balshaw looked to be going good and was with a group of other runners. They were just a bit too far to zero in on and I was just hoping that they would fall of the pace on the back 5K - they never did. First Lady, Helen Singleton, was shoulder to shoulder at 6k and provided a useful pace maker as my legs were hurting. Near to the finish two other runners caught up and tried to pass. I found the switch for race hell mode and gave it everything for the line. I later found out that one of the runners was Donald Kennedy from Longwood who is a V45 and I beat by one second to claim first male V45 and a time of 35-26.
Other Spen runners had a good day; Kevin O did 34-42, Gerard Skippings 37-46 and Ian Ogden(Kevs brother) 40-42.