A LOOK BACK AT THIS WEEK 25 YEARS AGO
The start to my 1986 season couldn't have been any better with the win in the BRASS MONKEY HALF MARATHON and there had really no let up throughout the year with 19 more races completed including 2 marathons and 5 more half marathons. 3 of them in the last 5 weeks.
Hardly surprising then that by this date OCTOBER 19 I was looking forward to an end of year break with only 3 more races planned.
The first would be a local one. The HORSFORTH (HARRIERS) 10K. It has a new venue now but back in 1986 it was based at the college where I did my P.E. degree; TRINITY & ALL SAINTS. The host club had only recently been established.
I remember clearly the initial discussion I had with one of the original members when he enquired about vests for them and I queried whether they would be better adding to the membership of LEEDS CITY up the road. Of course they went ahead and whilst not an elite club they have gone from strength to strength in the way many clubs set up in the 1980s have done.
The course for the 10K was a testing one, heading over the hill towards Yeadon, swinging right past the LEEDS BRADFORD airport before swinging right and right again along the undulating lanes back towards Horsforth. With an unwelcome sting in the tail with the climb back up to the college.
JOHN CONVERY (pictured left in 1986 ) repeated his September Kirkstall 10K win running 31.51 but I couldn't repeat my 3rd. The event attracted a better quality field and I was pushed back to 8th with 32.44, despite running 20 seconds faster.
As was the norm at this time in local races, our VALLEY STRIDERS vests were prominent at the sharp end. TERRY BEAN followed John C. for 2nd (32.04) KEITH CLUDERAY followed me in for 9th and HILARY MC EWAN was 11th. So 5 Striders in 11. Great times for the club!
Sadly Hilary passed away prematurely and 12th place ALAN SPENCE also died this year.
Looking down to other names in the top 40 runners we find fell racing stalwart GARY DEVINE (16TH 33.34) Bingley's MIKE SMITH now proud owner of multiple World Masters medals at various distances and has recorded 19.41 (5K) and 42.16 (10K) at the age of 69. Teammate SEAN JORDAN has returned to racing in the last few years after a bit of a break (25 th in 34.50);he is still running under 40 minutes (39.26 this year).
In 31st position was KEVIN O'HARA then running for Otley (31st 35.17). I know Kevin is still fit and well because he flew past me on his bike this very morning as I was out for my jog.
But it would appear the majority of the first 40 in this 1986 have long since hung their road racing shoes up. Perhaps only to be expected!
With the metric distance still in its infancy this race was only the 10th 10K I'd run with the first still the fastest back in 1983 . I was becoming fairly apparent that the marathon racing and training wasn't helping my speed over the shorter distance!
Good possibily of notching up the 138th this Sunday......family obligations permitting.