Saturday, 4 September 2010


 Up and out early on a Saturday for a change.  Destination Blackpool promenade for the BLACKPOOL ILLUMINATIONS 10K.   My 130th. 10k. A low key 10K compared with the big BEAVERBROOKS 10K which attracts several thousand.  Today 340 lined up for the 11 a.m. start outside the Hilton Hotel and headed uphill north towards Bispham with a following wind.   A wind which would work against us on the way back.
 Not a lot of familiar faces but I spot two significant "markers" to keep me alert to the task.  LIZ TOMES of Keighley who beat me by one place and 4 seconds at Arncliffe 4 and rival M60 STEVE PIERCE of Kendal who beat me by 2 minutes in the Haweswater half  marathon earlier this year and by 33 secs. in Gt. Langdale 10K last December.   I'm still keen to dip back under  42 minutes for the distance; will today be the right day? I know I will need 6.45 mile spilts to achieve this target; the race being mile marked not K marked.  Hopefully,  the first outing in the new BROOKS RACER ST 4 will do the trick.
  The first mile features an unwelcome incline but with a 6.52 I think this can be brought back.  Liz has slipped past and is gradually pulling away as expected.   No sign of rival Steve with his distinctive trademark yellow headband.  But sure enough  moments later he appears on my shoulder and nudges away establishing a tantalising 20 metre gap.

 Meanwhile I have a young 13(!) year old Preston Harrier  for company  who is clipping along very nicely.  (This photo courtesy of Tony Croft)  I decide not to threaten him with double detention if he beats me!  Miles trip by in 6.40 and 6.57 as we turn into the wind.   We go through in 7.10 and that 42 minute barrier looks like it will have to wait for yet another day; but it seems to be hitting rivals harder than me.  Liz has come back into sight and Steve is now within touching distance.
  As I always preach, I accelerated as I passed but the Kendal man responded well and we raced shoulder to shoulder for a mile and a half. 

Locked together  we were passing fading runners including Liz.  Our duel continued but with a 6.37 sixth mile I pushed slightly ahead and thought I had him.  I tried to take the last short slope back up to the upper walk well but Steve the terminator caught me again!   I nipped arond the corner and finally managed to pull away to finish 5 seconds in front.

  A great duel which at least kept us both under 43 minutes for 1st and 2nd in the M60 category. Liz Tomes ran an equally solid 43.13 to win the F50 category; 6th overall.
  So mixed views on the event.   Good to win the category and record a solid run but the icing on the cake would have been 41......something. 
  A  sociable cool down jog with Steve P., a quick shower in the hotel and just nade the presentation for the
"fabulous" (according to the entry form) prizes, "supported" by The Hilton Hotel.  A very nicely wrapped... bottle of wine.(!?)

                                                              Liz Tomes  Keighley......
Daniel Whitlock   Preston Harriers........
                                        Race winner in 32.35 David Muilvee Herne Hill......

3rd and Ist M50 in 35.09 Paul Muller..........

 5th in36.38  Ist M45  Paul Archer Clayton le Moors......

  We would have had to stay in Blackpool for another 6 hours to fully appreciate the Illuminations.  Never been?   here's a taste.................

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