Sunday, 3 June 2012

ILKLEY MOOR RUN 1987... a gruelling run?

It was shades of the Manchester marathon conditions today with a low temperature of just 6 degrees, steady rain and  a blustery cooling easterly wind .  Tempting to settle for a short run in such conditions but having driven over the hill to battle up and back on the canal,  I stuck to plan,  persevering to bring week 20 to a close with a moderately paced 11 miler.  Compensation being that the dreadful weather put off the bikers who normally wizz past on the towpath with undue care and much abandon.  Just 4 seen all morning!
 No track session this week but a good solid week's training  after last Sunday's 5 mile race.  Particularly pleasing being one of the fastest circuits of the res in a long time; probably because I had company for the first 3 miles which meant I started faster than normal!  44 miles on the week.  912 on the year and the average over 41. No days missed this year; so have to be pleased with the consistency which I hope will lead to some good race performances  over the next few months.

                                TIM      JOHN       HILARY   BEN      TERRY           CHRIS
                             AGAR CONVERY McEWAN  GRANT LONERGAN LEGGATT

 Tomorrow's it's time for the annual ILKLEY TRAIL RACE which covers a route on the north side of town.  This weekend 25 years ago the ILKLEY MOOR RUN took place.  It was the 5th event in the Leeds Grand Prix of that year,1987.  A series in which I continued to place second fiddle to my young rival, JOHN CONVERY , who had maintained his position on top of the leader board with a string of wins, whilst I had tried to stay in touch at least with a second and a couple of 4th places.
 This day would be a slightly different challenge.  Not a shortish road race as the previous events had been.
The local paper the WHARFE VALLEY TIMES described it as a "gruelling 13.5 mile run over the top of Ilkley Moor.  In truth I would suggest there was not a lot of climbing in the run compared to the 700 feet which runners will face tomorrow; but a good challenge nevertheless.
 304 completed the race which started and finished in Guiseley.  JOHN CONVERY would maintain his position as Grand Prix leader but had to content with second in the race.  He was beaten by Harrogate's BEN GRANT.  Ben  Grant is nearly 64 now but is still racing and still capable of a 5K just under 20 minutes!  He has enjoyed an excellent career with success on and off road as he showed this day 25 years ago beating John by over 5 minutes.
  In 6th place was CHRIS LEGGATT, a Sale Harrier teammate in the '60s who  was then a Valley Striders teammate.  Pictured here crossing Ilkley Moor with me two places back.
I  ran an isolated 7th  (2ND Grand Prix entrant) with  KEVIN O'HARA 9TH  and my now departed friend HILARY McEWAN  10TH.
  LINDA LORD (Clayton)  was first lady followed by local Skyrac ladies, CATH RILEY and ALICE GULL.

                 1.  BEN GRANT                  HARROGATE              83.35
                 2.  JOHN CONVERY          VALLEY STRIDERS   88.39
                 3.  M. HOLLIDAY               LEEDS CITY                90.05
                 4.  M. FALGATE                  PUDSEY                      91.17
                 6.  CHRIS LEGGATT           VALLEY STRIDERS   92.22
                 7.  TERRY LONERGAN       VALLEY STRIDERS  93.28
                 9.  KEVIN O'HARA              UNATTACHED          94.38
                10. HILARY MC EWAN        VALLEY STRIDERS  95.04

A  fortnight later many of us gathered  again for the event which preceded tomorrow's trail race, the Ilkley 8 mile road race.  Another race in which the white and black of Valley Striders would feature to the fore.

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