Monday, 24 January 2011


Congratulations to readers who gave it their all yesterday at York in the Brass Monkey half; especially those who took advantage of pretty favourable conditions and the fast course to
record PBs.  
 Double congratulations to those of you who also came away with individual and age group prizes.
 This shot features blog follower Kevin Ogden (455, red/ gold vest) on his way to a great PB placing of 14th from 1561 who finished.
  Well done Kevin.

It was particularly pleasing also to see young female friends,with whom I've shared many a mile,occupying second and third places. 
 Both  were using the race as a key build up race to spring marathons and, all being well,  they are both on the way to great  performances over 26.2 miles in just a few weeks time.
  Well done Amy  Green and Sarah Jarvis.
 Looking at the results it's great to see such a large percentage of the 1561 finishers are female in comparison even to 25 years ago, 1986.

 Naturally, perhaps pedantically,  I cast my  evil eye over the times  of the leading 2011 men  compared to 1986.  Yesterday's winner, Paul Martelleti,  pictured here, would have shown me a very clean pair of heels with 65.21 compared to my 67.55 but the rest of our class of '86   would have bettered each top ten placing with the '86 tenth crossing the line back then in 72.35 compared to 73.59 yesterday.    Looking at the vets of 1986, there were only 4 in the first 50 compared to 14 yesterday; confirming current trends.  
 Reading other blog reports of yesterday's race, it would seem that the York Knavesmire club race committee will once again be having a long look at the event and no doubt reviewing  the policy of  total online entry and collection of numbers on the morning before 10.00 a.m. which proved problematic.  Perhaps simply a later start!
 I can't help thinking the total online entry system clearly works against anyone who isn't computer savvy or anyone who was out training on the Saturday morning when the entry system opened and closed.  But as long as they get 1500 plus I don't suppose they are bothered who they are. The race will be full again next year, that's a certainty.
 Working in the Nelson shop last Saturday, I was asked if the Brass Monkey, in its 28th year, was a big race back then.  I don't have full results but would guess about 500 ran it.  For me it was significant in as much as it was a key race building up to  the Bristol Marathon in the April.
 However, the diary entry for the week  preceding the York race of '86,  even puzzled me to read it.  Monday started OK with a 6 in the a.m. and a 6 in the evening followed by 6 Tuesday a.m. and 4 x mile in the evening.  So far so good.  But  on the Wednesday  we woke to a gale blowing down the valley and so, ever supportive, Pat drove me up Wharfedale to Burnsall so I could run back to Ilkley with the gale force wind behind.  And blow me it did..............11 miles in 66 minutes.  Hardly, a moderate midweek run before a race.  Talk about gone with the wind.
 Thursday reads,not surprisingly,....simply..... "knackered".....4 easy.  But  keen to approach 80 for the week, it was 2 x 6 on the Friday and surprisingly,  2 x 6 again on the Saturday.   Hardly the ease down that I would afford myself now and would advice for others either. 
 Nevertheless,  a win and a PB were managed with thoughts returning to  plans  for a good run in Bristol. But  more immediately, in just another 3 weeks, what to run before a trip abroad for another build race.....the MALTA MARATHON ,  where I would have not one but 2 European marathon champions to contend with.  All good fun!
 I recall having the Fastrax factory make up a special red and white vest for me (Maltese colours)
to wear in on the mediterranean island in the hope that it engender some local support!  Did it work....I'll come back to that later, no doubt.

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