Sunday, 29 January 2012


Drugs company GlaxoSmithKline carried out a recent survey to determine the amount of "physical activity" the over-55s do compared with other age groups.  The survey found that over -55s are more active than the 18 to 25 year age group averaging 12 hours 6 minutes compared with 11 hours 38 minutes by those half there age.
  Walking of course for the over-55s is a very popular activity.  The trails of local Wharfedale swarm with my generation  whilst those half their age  are in the main hard at work.  Many not walking are of course in the gyms across the before lunch; so the figures are not really surprising.
  Sally M. joined for this week's "2 res run". We started out at 10.30 and just over an hour later, on a fairly mild late January morning, by car park was entirely full and it's a pretty big car park.  Confirmation of the upsurge in  recreational walking  as a retirement activity; and confirmation of the fact that running with a friend  leads to a faster pace even with chat all the way around!
 Following another visit to the soggy gravel pits on Thursday it was back to the track on Friday  in a bid to extract a tad more speed from the old legs with a set of 8 600s.
 A bid which failed as  I could only manage the same pace for one and a half laps as I did the previous week for two and a half laps!  Quite disappointing but I'll  put it down to the  strong winds prevailing on Friday.
At least the sun shone for the  midday session; two hours later  I drove back into a very heavy snow storm, hoping throughout that  the snow would not settle as it would severly hamper the preparation and running of the NORTHERN CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS on Saturday at Pontefract.
 Fortunately as I reached the Yorkshire border there was no sign of the snow and as I drove towartds there were one ot two strange glances at the snow laden car.
 Forecasts for the Northerns were very favourable and proved correct.  Officials, spectators and most importantly competitors enjoyed a Pontefract Park  race course bathed in bright winter sunshine for all the races.  Just as well really as there was no heated facility at all at the venue to provide respite if the weather had have turned nasty as it can happen at this time of year.
It was a long day all in all as I had arrived at 10 in time to watch Georgia Malir, Sally's daughter, compete in the under 17 race.   Two year's ago she ran in the under 15s race and finished 81st.  Whilst still maintaining an excellent standard in the exam subjects and music (piano) under Sally's guidance she is maturing very nicely as a versatile young athlete performing well on the trails, fell and road.  Yesterday it was time to see how well she had progressed on the country.
 Seemingly buried by faster starters from the pens she had surged through the 5th place midway through the first lap and  held on well dropping only one place to finish 6th. An tremendous improvement of 75 places!
Well done, Georgia! 
  Those in front of her yesterday have enjoyed greater success in the last few years but they have a "new kid on the block" in their age group to worry about and she looks certain to being only one way if  she continues to work hard in her training.
  In the 3 hours  between Georgia's race and the senior races it was great to catch up with so many old friends from the northern region but ,with my new camera in hand , none of them asked me if I was running.
When it came to the senior mens race I must confess  I did have some regret at not entering as it was by no means a race exclusive to the under 40s.
 I did manage a rare run in the dark when I arrrived home of just 3 miles which left me fresher for the final run of the week.   A 12 miler on the canal from Silsden, as usual.
 The canal was unusually busy as I ran closer to the planned turn at the famous Bingley 5 Rise Locks.  In fact  as the locks came into view so did a great crowd of people on the towpath adjacent to the locks.
Apparently the locks were beinng drained and hundreds had come out to watch!  At which point I turned back.  Not really being concerned to discover what was being uncovered on the base of the canal.
 Usual acceleration on the run from 9.14 opener to 8.01 uphill mile to finish. The run compensating for Friday's disappointing performance.  Obviously I'm build for distance rather than speed.  But at 9.5 stone I suppose tha's fairly predictable.
So 11.5 on the day.  Closing week 4 off at 43 miles.  Averaging 42 on the year.  Time for a race?!

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