A lovely lady came into the shop yesterday representing a new club situated between Settle and Lancaster. VALERIE HARROLD of BENTHAM BEAGLES Running Club had entry forms for the club's 10K which will be held for the first time on Sunday 22 July.
She expressed concern that they had only received 6 entries at the moment and the race would incur a heavy loss but we tried to assure her that no doubt there will be a significant flow of entries between now and the July date and of course many will enter on the day.
Her concerns reminded me of the risks involved in putting on a race today with increasing expenditure but still it was good to hear of a young club being keen to put back into the sport by hosting an event themselves. Check out more details at www.benthambeagles.co.uk
Hopefully the race will not upset local motorists as Ilkley Round Table's 10K did. In hindsight perhaps going metric and changing the course was a bad idea. The two lap 8 miler we started off with was clearly a safer course which was less likely to hold up Sunday morning drivers.
It was the challenge several hundred local runners faced this date 25 years ago.....
JUNE 14 1987 THE ILKLEY ROUND TABLE 8 MILE ROAD RACE.
There are no doubt several people reading this blog right now who are as fitter and faster than 99% of the population but are reluctant to return to racing because of the weight and pressure of expectation.
Previous success leads others to expect that high achievement will continue. But after injury or a period off racing through other aspects of life, the fear of not reaching former levels is sadly enough to put many off racing altogether.
I was always extremely nervous for this race in my home town, much the same as I was when competing in the school sports from the age of 14. Having represented Lancashire etc. I was expected to win 2 or 3 events at the school sports but particularly trying to win over 880 yards (800 mts) was never a certainty when 400 runners of similar county standard moved up. But as house captain I had to turn out for the points.
Having won a couple of marathons, half marathons etc the weight of expectations was similarly great for this local race. But 2 laps of 4 miles with a steep ascent and descent was another challenge altogether! I recall the day also being extremely stressful as I had had a hand in the organisation with the Round Table and then there would be the task of holding off Ilkley Harriers
new "star" runner, a 23 year old JAMES PARKER who was rapidly making a name for himself.
But as usual once the adrenalin kicks in and the focus is on the race itself things go pretty well.
At 38 I was alongside many fast young guns on the start line but managed 8th place by the end of the tough event. It was excellent day for VALLEY STRIDERS with 4 of us in the first 11.
The race was won by CHRIS PROCTOR of then KEIGHLEY ROADRUNNERS in 41:13
followed by MARTIN HOPSON (VALLEY STRIDERS) 42:07 and a young MARTIN ROSCOE (Leeds University) who is now one of the country's best vets in his age group.
My old friend HILARY McEWAN was 4th.
JAMES PARKER edged me out by 12 seconds for first local in 6th place to my 8th. 43:08 to 43:20. He went to enjoy much success on the fells particularly before turning to biking and rowing.
First lady in the race was fellow Valley Strider JO FRICKER who now works in the FASTRAX part of my business ensuring there is a steady flow of vests, t-shirts, hoodies etc to our clubs in G.B. and the Republic Of Ireland.
This was the first of 3 consecutive weeks of local races. Could she manage a hat trick of wins?