Looking back 25 years as I do quite regularly on this blog I can't decide whether I'm correctly "growing old gracefully" as a runner or I'm failing to challenge myself enough!
Take races. 1987 saw me tackling a 9 miler, the penultimate event of the LEEDS LEISURE GRAND PRIX we'd be involved with since March, the KEIGHLEY 10K and followed that six days later with the tough BURNSALL 10 miler. This year it looks like my tally with be just 2 5ks!
Regular readers will recall that in the previous 7 Grand Prix events I'd had to be content to play second fiddle each time to a more youthful John Convery, who had notched up 7 x 200 points to my 7 x 199 points. No chance of winning the Grand Prix unless John missed one or even both of the last 2 events.
Which unfortunately he did. Presumably injured.
By coincidence I saw John up at Carnegie track just last week and he was injured in August again. Obviously not a good month for him. Whilst I ground out 16 x 300 as last week he had the pleasure of watching his talented son Sam go through his session.
The lure of "big prizes" at the mildy undulating KEIGHLEY 10K that year saw many good runners coming from out of the area including a strong Sunderland trio of BRIAN RUSHWORTH (1st in 30:18) PAUL CAMPBELL (2nd in 30:53) and PAUL HARKER (7th in 31:54) My 33:42 was good enough for only 30th place of 330 who finished.
At the age of 49 Brian Rushworth ,pictured here, is seemingly as motivated as he was back in 1987 having run 34:16 for a10K in May this year.
I hadn't particularly planned to run in the BURNSALL 10 Miler just 6 days later as I knew, with staff holidays, I was due to be working in the shop. But much as the weather has been this week frequent heavy showers seemed to be putting people off shopping that day and so after lunch I started to think about driving the 12 miles up the Dales to do a late entry. A VERY late entry!
With the rain lashing down I arrived at 2.45, just 15 minutes before the start, entered and took shelter back in the car until 2.55; whereupon I ran down the hill from the Fell Hotel and joined the field of drenched runners already toeing the line. Needless to say the first 3 miles were somewhat laboured but I eventually went through to 11th in 55.59. "A good exercise" according to the diary.
Looks like tomorrow could be similarly wet! If all goes to plan I'll be taking the easier option of the LANCASTER 5K.