Wednesday, 25 January 2012


 My 1987 racing programme began in January as usual and ended in late October.  Nothing in November and then just one low key race in the December.  Several years took this shape in the '80s  as I  had stopped racing over the country.
 On  this date, JANUARY 25TH 1987 , I  returned  to York Knavesmire in an attempt to repeat my 1986 win in the BRASS MONKEY HALF MARATHON (67.55).   I had  run one race over 6 miles (the Woodkirk Valley 6 in Leeds) on January 6th.  clocking  32.20 on the undulating course ; perhaps indicating  that I was not in shape to run under 70 minutes again at this early stage of the year.
 In the weeks since Christmas I had covered 72, 69 and 80 miles with a longest run of 16 and had put in plenty of hill work but  hadn't really started speedwork.  The diary tells of  "head and chest slightly congested" "coughing and spluittering" "an unsettled night" on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday;  but clearly not serious enough to me racing!

 Pre-race favourite to win was RICHARD BUTTERFIELD
who was running for Skyrac A.C. at the time  (pictured here running for Horsforth Harriers alongside V.S. stalwart Bob Jackson).  He certainly figured from the gun but he was surrounded by phalanx of  white vests.   VALLEY STRIDERS were out in force!  4 of us were on his tail!  Must have been something we said as undeterred he ran away to win  in 68.07  but we held on to take 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place!!
 MARTIN HOPSON was 2nd 69.27,  HILARY MC EWAN  69.45 , I was 4TH IN 70.23 with last year's runner up, JEFF COULSON 5th .  GEORGE DEBNAM put the host club, Knavesmire Harriers, amongst the prizes with his sixth place in 71.01. 
  The race winner  later joined Valley Striders.  A case of I can beat them, but there are more of them,  so I'll join them!
 None of us would have threatened the 2012 winner YARED HAGUS (Wallsend) who  battled through the strong winds last Sunday to win in 66.42 but might well have pushed back this year's 2nd place finisher MATTHEW PIERSON (Holmfirth) (71.12) in 8th place?
 I only have a newspaper report for this 1987. It would be interesting to see a full results sheet.

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