Sunday, 30 September 2012

Right training ....wrong order?!

 Many MORECAMBE & WISE Christmas Show sketches have been memorable and repeated so many times. But show  which particularly outstanding  was the one featuring pianist, conductor and composer ANDRE PREVIN and his frustration with Eric Morecambe's attempt to play Grieg's piano Concerto.     ( A 1 MINUTE VIDEO)

A classic.....I AM playing all the RIGHT notes...not necessarily in the right order!

A bit like that with the week of training which ended today.  A couple of easy days on the grass,  some good  undulating trail runs, a 4x mile track session and a tough, VERY hilly road run.  43 miles in total. The problem being that I set myself the task of completing the hilly road run today the day after the track session.
A tough ask as it turned out.  It was a run I should have done midweek,last Wednesday. So why do it?
 I felt I needed a run around the 10 mile mark but not as flat as I often choose. I think I've been shying away from the hills too often lately.  Unfortunately in an attempt to avoid traffic and massed Sunday cyclists I tackle  a rouite that I used to use often in the @80s when doing runs over 20 mile.
  Starting from the hamlet of STORITHS high above the River Wharfe near Bolton Abbey.
 But I was only in my 30s then;  at 63 the hills felt somewhat steeper.  A cyclist did appear on my back at the  9 mile point and I thought
"Great I'll have some company: some one to drag me up the last half a mile very steep incline"
              But he peeled off to the right.

"Don't you fancy the hill then?!
 " No ,******* chance. I'm going for a tea at the Cavendish"
         So I'll battled on alone. Nose to the tarmac.
But  I survived.  No calf strains, no hamstring problems.  9.5 very hard miles.
          A good exercise but the wrong day.  
          Not after yesterday's  track session!

Saturday, 29 September 2012


 According to the book" I should have looked to do a speed session last weekend.  But quite rightly the club did NOT need me to make up numbers in a 6 man "E" team for that Northern relay and so I planned a session on Seedhill track Nelson,  only to find it being used by dozens of young Pendle cyclists.  So no track session last weekend.
 Today, Saturday, I didn't risk Nelson running track being similarly "out of bounds" to runners,  heading east to use the LEEDS MET UNIV CARNEGIE track  instead.  I timed the visit so as not to clash with two known training groups and thought I would have the track to myself but was pleased to see IAN LEGGE of WETHERBY RUNNERS appear with a dozen or more young boys and girls and expertly put them through their paces.  It was interesting to see how after a joint warm up they split into groups all ably orchestrated by the head coach.
 Conditions as usual up there were less than favourable.  We all battled against a strong westerly on a cool autumn morning; but of course it would only get worse, won't it? At least it was dry.
 Again according to "the book"  we should be doing race pace in a speed session for 10% of our weekly mileage. As I'm doing average 40 miles per week with just one speed session my total track session had to involve 4 miles of effort; so I opted today for the classic  4 x 1 mile REP session;  the INTERVAL  (that's the easy bit between the hard bit) recovery being 3 minutes.
 I'm being a tad pedantic, because I was asked was I "DOING INTERVALS?"  I just replied ,"mile reps"
 Call me pedantic, but I still feel the need to correct runners who say they have been "DOING INTERVALS".
  If you go a football match,  the bit in the middle when the players go off and the action stops is the HALF TIME INTERVAL. When we go to the theatre for say a 3 act play the two INTERVALS are the bits when the actors leave the stage and we go for a drink in the bar.  The interval is the time when there's NO ACTION.
               So why do runners say they have been to the track  to "DO INTERVALS"!!
  If the interval is the recovery between efforts, "doing intervals" is a pretty easy session, isn't it?  .
 It just another of those phrases "the book"  uses which seem to defy commonsense  but we somehow tolerate.
  But what do I know.....???  In conclusion  I would say YES .... DO AN INTERVAL SESSION..........BUT DON'T SAY "I'VE BEEN DOING  INTERVALS"........just to make an old man happy.
 Anyway, I digress!  "The book" would suggest given recent 10K times (43/44) I should be able to knock out 4 miles efforts around the 7.00 mark (43.30).  But as I repeatedly seem to write the FURTHER I go the FASTER I get!
 I toil around the first two reps battlling against the wind in 7.27 and 7.22.  But on the last 3rd rep I passed by Ian's runners doing a 600 and trying to hold on to them  I end up with 6.59! and conclude again solo with 7.02.
 So that was today.  A good solid track session on a distinctly cooler, windy day but  at least dry at the end of week which began with a month's rain in just 24 hours and brought misery to many places in North Yorks and the North east particularly.
                                        Back to rain for tomorrow, I suspect.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

PHILEAS JOGG ready to go....

The team at FASTRAX send out dozens of orders each week.  The majority of the orders are for clubs of the UK and Southern Ireland.  But printing for charities is becoming more and more significant.
 This morning we pulled together vests, tees, jackets and hooded tops for ADAM CHATAWAY aka PHILEAS JOGG who is going to tackle 6 marathons in 29 days of October and November.
   Only to make the task even more challenging he will be flying between 6 continents to fit them in.
  Marathons in BUENOS AIRES, MELBOURNE, AMMAN, NAIROBI, DUBLIN and NEW YORK will feature in his around the world travels,  running for ACTION AID  to help build 4 classrooms in Ethiopia.

A somewhat faster exercise than the "Around the world in 80days" of Jules Verne's PHILEAS FOGG; but then he did not have the advantage of jet travel.
  You may wish to read more about his epic jouirney and his fundraising efforts ...........................

                         NEWS FLASH......................................IT'S STOPPED RAINING!
 Whilst the rain which hit Ilkley for 40 hours plus continually earlier this week has now ceased the town and huge areas to the east are still suffering as the water  streams down off the hillsides.
I'll be going over to see how the reservoirs of Fewston and Swinsty look.  I suspect the good people of Leeds will have no excuse not to take a shower or even a bath  until next spring!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


You know the saying ,"If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again".  Of course, it helps if you know what you have done wrong and try to correct your error.  But when you follow normal procedures for a task and continually fail, time and time again after hours of effort, the saying becomes,
 "If at first you don't succeed, try, try,try again ...then throw the computer through the window!!"
I recall one Saturday morning,some decades ago, when Pat and I tried to "mend a fuse".  I involved fuse wire and spent the whole morning trying to get the lighting back on. No matter what we did we couldn't do it.
Eventually, we were forced to call in an electrician.  He came, he went down to the cellar and as we were on the way down to join him....seconds later the lights came on!
 "What did you do?" I asked.  "Oh, I just closed the fuse box door. Won't work unless you do." !!!!!!
I've struggled similarly with this  BOGGART CHASE 10K video since the race 10 days ago.  I followed all the normal procedures.  Downloaded Pat's clips,  transferred them to the moviemaker, looked at the 170 clips and shortened the film from 20 minutes to 15 minutes,  put in titles, added the music but time after time it just would NOT save. No save, no movie, no Youtube upload.
 I still don't know what I was doing wrong but hey ho for what it's worth here you have it......
If you ran it see how you coped with the lapped challenging  course as you should be able to track your position leaving the track after 1K, then going through at 3K, 7k and then finishing.  Certainly several young, strong looking young men seemed to have struggled with not only the hills but also the distance. Interesting.
         BOOGART CHASE 2012 VIDEO LINK IS............

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


I had hoped the  rain would cease today but the forecast on BBC Weather was a constant..."heavy rain".  So I sought refuge in Bolton Abbey's Strid Woods; a good chance for some off road trail hill work. With over 200 homes  flooded and train services disrupted by the weather  across parts of the UK, it is perhaps churlish to report that parts of the trail by the River Wharfe were under 2 feet of water requiring detours. But a small inconvenience compared to the misery of being told to evacuate your home at 4  in the morning.  About 80 areas in England and Wales are being warned to expect flooding, with northern England the worst affected.Some areas could see 50mm (2in) of rain - an average fortnight's worth - by the day's end, the Met Office said.Elsewhere, flooding has closed sections of major roads, with more than 100 vehicles trapped on a 30-mile stretch of the A1 in North Yorkshire.
As I drove back past the tennis club the courts and surrounding fields appeared to be under water.  No tennis this week!
Last Saturday was certainly a "last hurrah" of the summer it would seem.  Just how lucky were we to have enjoyed the hours of warm sunshine for those NORTH OF ENGLAND MENS and LADIES RELAYS............
                                             THE MENS 6 STAGE RELAY
                                              THE LADIES 4 STAGE RELAY

Monday, 24 September 2012


 Goodness me , could Saturday and Sunday have been any different!  Yet another weekend dominated by our so unreliable English weather.
 Saturday  the "terminator" sunshine was back!  My's always good to have a plan....was to drop off  a couple of restock cartons at the Nelson branch,  and then drive on the mile to the Seedhill track.  Having completed  a  session I would then travel on to Leigh Sports Village  to watch the NORTH OF ENGLAND 6 stage (men) and 4 stage (ladies) road relays.  Pleased that the positive response from younger, faster men means my services are no longer  needed. 

 Saturday morning at the track is generally very quiet. Often just myself but occasionally 2 or 3 more.  Not so last Saturday.  I turn the corner to see dozens of youngsters whizzing around the running track.  That'll be the OLYMPIC legacy you're thinking aren't you?  Mo Farahs in the making!?
 NO,  they are whizzzing around the track on bikes!
These are not kids trespassing either. It's a fully organised session of CYCLE SPORT PENDLE.  There must have been well over 100 people; coaches, parents and youngsters.  The council clearly deciding that if runners aren't going to use the track then they will let others use it.  And why not, if the surface isn't suffering.  So not so much as MO FARAH wannabees as BRADLEY WIGGINS!
So no track session for me. PLAN A up in shreds.  PLAN B...........

Instead I drove straight on to Leigh Sports Village and enjoyed a superb 8 mile run out and back along the Leeds Liverpool canal with views over PENNINGTON FLASH country park.
 The lunchtime weather was superb with just a hint of a cooling  autumn breeze to keep the run very comfortable.  The fine sunshine continued throughout the afternoon as teams from all over the North battled it out for honours and places in the National relay (venue threatened by e.coli!!) How lucky we were.

 Of course, I had a particular interest in seeing SALE HARRIERS teams in action.  We fielded 5 complete (for a change) mens teams and 3 ladies teams.  The mens "A" was not quite at full strength and narrowly missing out on the medals in 4th place.
 We could have done with our Olympian who lives nearby to the venue.Unfortunate.
 With all the takeovers taking place on the track  I ended up dashing from one side to the other across the football field in an effort to record the action.

 Efforts of most of the SALE runners now up on YOUTUBE.
   Yesterday the poor weather returned with a vengeance. Having spent the morning editing the previous days filming whilst watching the rain come down (as it is now!) my afternoon run took in part of the ILKLEY TRIATHLON route which was taking place throughout the day centred on the Ilkley Lido.    I had much sympathy for the lonely marshals who had stood hour after hour in the pouring rain.  A thankless  task.
   So this tough 8 mile run completed yet another week of 39 miles.  But no speed work; a week of easy/ steady running recovering from the 4th race in 4 weeks.
   Time to review the year and look forward to what the rest of 2012 has in store......

Monday, 17 September 2012


 One of the first people I chatted with having arrived at Boggart Hole Clough track for the BOGGART CHASE 10k  was M60 category leader in the Manchester Parks GP series, FRANCIS DAY.  So his presence and  the nature of the course with its 5 hills meant one clear option for the morning was to run conservatively and ensure there were no calf strains or hamstring pulls.  Just run to secure the points.
 But that option wouldn't have given me the chance to compare 2011 and 2012 times: so for the 4th consecutive week, unusual for me, it would be another 100% effort.   An effort largely spent trying to claw back  the time lost in the first  two miles to several faster starters including Sale Harrier teammates,  JACKIE CORDINGLEY and LYNDA ROWLINSON even though I had consciously tried to start faster than in 2011 and not be overly cautious.
 Following two+ laps of the track and a thrash out of the park down Charlestown Road we swing back into the park, lose height rapidly and are then faced with the first tough ascent back to the track.   The ladies are in front still plus  3 young, strong looking lads from Manchester Frontrunners.
On a cool, damp and blusterly day the large well established trees provide welcome shelter as we recover with another descent but then endure a pull up again to the 5K point.  It would appear I'm ahead of last year's 5K time.
 I've made some progress in the recovery chase but it's on the 3rd very steep hill that those in sight appear to be suffering and pleasingly I start overtaking.   As we pass by the track to start the last lap I've passed the ladies,  one of the Manchester FR lads and continue the chase after the other two,  LEE MARJORAM and LUKE WOOKEY with  Middleton Harrier COLIN CARTER visible in the distance.   It's proving a very hard task as the younger runners  breeze down the descents running freely; in contrast  my short tight strides restrict me greatly.  I certainly don't want to pull a hamstring  after 8K!
 But once again the  Manchester lads don't seem to like the steep ascents at all. I pass them and offer  encouragment but perhaps one running carrying an iPhone doesn't help!   
 The Middleton runner has equally suffered and as I reach the gate to the track I'm thinking "mission accomplished". 
   BUT the two young guns aren't  going to give this grey old wrinkly the satisfaction and inspired by the sight of the finish line 100 metres away,  from who knows where,  LUKE and COLIN  both muster up a massive degree of  extra energy and leave me well and truly for dead!.    Shame the race didn't finish at the top of a hill.  
  Last year I ran 45.52, the race run at the end of a week totalling 41 miles.  This year  my timing shows 44.54  at the end of an easy week's running. So the race programme followed by a "taper" seemed to pay off.  
 I won't say how much  I won for second in race category in case the tax man reads this  (which being cash  now makes me a "professional"  runner by definition and presumably disqualifies me from running in the RIO de Janeiro
Olympics!?) plus a nice cheque for 2nd in the Grand Prix  but let's just say it was enough to enter one of those "Great" races which charge £55(?)(whoops!)
  There was a constant stream of category winners from our Sale Harriers picnic table at the presentation, as can be seen from the picture above.
 The race was won by MOHAMMED ABU-RAZEQ in 32.50.  In recent 10Ks he has run under 31 mins.  An indication of the challenging nature of the course.  First lady was 21 year old Salford runner NINA MC ARTHUR who ran 39.54 who coped with the hills extremely well winning by over a minute.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Easy on a Saturday morning!

On a rather balmy but dry Saturday morning , my dear wife Pat is toiling out in the garden whilst I am sat comfortably typing this.  I am on strict instructions NOT to join her as I did last Saturday  before the BLACKPOOL 5K the following day.   She is convinced it was the reason I ran 21.27 having run 20.59 and 21.02 in recent 5Ks.   She may well be correct; grafting in the garden does take it out of us.
  My spate of binge racing has taken a toll. It's certainly been a case this week of just ticking over after recent events with no run exceeding 4 miles.  So yes  I'll behave myself as tomorrow it's the last of the 5 events in the MANCHESTER PARKS GRAND PRIX series.  The infamous BOGGART CHASE 10k  hosted by Salford Harriers in North Manchester.  It's a real roller coaster of a course; not one for the faint hearted!
 The series has not been quite the commitment of 9 races in that Leeds Leisure Grand Prix 25 years.  I was very pleased as I wrote last time to win that with 1791 points out of the 1800 on offer.   The chance of a win in this sereis however is very low. 
 The MANCHESTER Grand Prix has really scored us in our respective age groups.  There are only 3 in my M60 age group.  Leader FRANCIS DAY (East Cheshire)  has 9 points, I have 8 points and ARNOLD BRADSHAW (Manchester)  has 6 points.  I am very unlikely to get anywhere near to Mr Day if he turns up so even if I finish last of the 3 of us I'll still finish 2nd overall.
  Much the same situation as it was last year!!  I'm amazed that the series is not more popular as the increased cost of £25 for 5 races is still very good value.  
 Question is then, as it's my 4th event in 4 weeks on a very hilly challenging course should I hold back and just run to finish,  as even with a 100% effort the time is going to read very slow anyway OR not be a wimp and give my a full blown effort to see how my 2012 time compares with the 2011 time?

Thursday, 13 September 2012


A huge upsurge in the sale of gels etc this week. 
Yes, it's GREAT NORTH RUN weekend once more.  55000 taking part!!
I'm still amazed by the number of those coming in who will be tackling the 13.1 miles from Newcastle to South Shields who have not exceeded 10 miles in their training and the number for whom the event will be their first race.
 It just makes more sense to me to build up the racing distance rather than starting with a half marathon or marathon.  I would still prefer to see new runners become comfortable running several 10Ks, bringing down their times as they get stronger than struggling around 13.31 miles or 26.2.
 But so many don't seem to regard the shorter events as a real challenge; as if there's no real kudos attached to running say sub 40 for a 10K than saying they've completed a marathon even if large sections have been walked.
Many justify not having at least covered the distance in training by saying "the schedule didn't tell me to" OR 
"Oh, I won't be racing; I'm just  raising money for charity"
I defy anyone not to react to the racing pace of those they are rubbing shoulders with; particularly a young man when an old wrinkly passing by!
 I had hoped to see MO FARAH competing but we are now being told that he  
"will be among five London 2012 gold medallists to perform the role of starter at the Bupa Great North Run.  Up to 55,000 people are expected to take part in the famous half marathon on 16 September.  Farah had been due to compete for the first time but has withdrawn as he has not had  time to train for the distance"  
 I think we would have all accepted that 13.1 miles was not the distance he had been focussing on and as such not been critical if he had been beaten by say a marathon trained specialist. 
             Shame. It would have been interesting to watch.

 September 6th saw a final end to the LEEDS LEISURE SERVICES GRAND PRIX which had begun way back on March 29. It had been a real test fortitude, resolve .....and the ability to stay clear of injury throughout the spring and summer months.
 Fortunately I managed to stay injury free, unlike my young "rival" Mr. Convery who missed the last 2 events.  His absence at that last event, the KIRKSTALL 10K, gave me the maximum 200 grand Prix points and confirmed me the Grand Prix winner.  Can't recall what the prize was but it didn't necessitate hiring an armed guard for a trip to the bank the next day!
 I was pleased to have won having completed all 9 events but it had been quite a commitment and meant that I'd not been able to run several other "traditional" races I would normally have run in. 
 With no race this weekend in 1987 the mileage was back up to 76 miles.  12 runs in the week including the customary Tuesday and Thursday track sessions.
 6 x 800 on the Tuesday (2.32  2.33  2.31  2.32  2.32 that for consistency!)
 16 x 200 on the Thursday ( averaging 33 secs)   My first visit to the Keighley track which has been recently refurbished.
 This week in 2012 I'll cover less than half that distance. 
                          Perhaps that's where I'm going wrong?

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


 As the years of competitive running have swiftly passed I've tended to veer away from what I call "binge racing". The practice of racing week after week.  With the number and pins barely taken off the vest from last week's race it's time to be putting on another one.  No rest for the wicked or the binge racer.
 But sometimes circumstances are such that needs must as a race provides a reasonable alternative to a solo track session.  So,  slightly deviating from our latest journey to the Lakes, I joined just 69 others for the BLACKPOOL AUTUMN 5K despite having run another 5K and a 10K in previous weekends.
Dismiss immediately the thoughts of chilly temperatures and paths strewn with fallen russet leaves;  the leaves were still firmly attached this day on September 9th and the temperature was above 20 degrees with a   welcome breeze ensuring that we were not too uncomfortable.
 Organised by Nick Hume and his team at Blackpool & Fylde A.C. the low key event (think no start banner, no K markers, just 70 runners) started on the Stanley Park track and takes in a couple of laps of the middle of the park rather than circuits of the external pathway.
Traffic free but watch out for dogs, children on scooters and kids on scateboards!
 In an event dominated by the over 40s ( as is becoming the norm!) Blackpool's JAMES MULVANEY was unchallenged winning in 16.20; with 15 year old REBECCA FLANAGAN (Rossendale) first (very young) lady in 20.48. But 2 63 year olds  had already finished!  ARNOLD MELLING ran 19.48 followed by evergreen ALAN HUDSON in 20.12.
 Having recently run 20.59 and 21.02 this 63 year old  was a tad disappointed with 28th in 21.27 but it was still a better effort than a solo 5k on the track at Nelson or even 5 x 1K reps and of course I 'd have missed out on a BWFAC flask and a pink stick of rock!  
 The event was only the 35th 5K race in my 49 years of competition; compared I note who have run over 30 5Ks this year!!  
 This spate of binge racing will continue ,all being well, with Sunday's BOGGART CHASE.

Friday, 7 September 2012

THOLTHORPE 10K......evaluation

  It was good to relieve the old feet with an easy few laps around the fields tonight.  My usual "easy" Friday.  I thought that I'd have the fields to myself but it was registration night for the new season at the Ben Rhydding Hockey Club.  Dozens of maroon clad youngsters and their enthusiastic parents ensuring the club will not be short of candidates for this season's teams. For the moment at least!
  It's the only venue I "run with music"  as there are no cars or bikes.  I was reminded of the fiirst mile or so in last Sunday's Tholthorpe 10K.  If you read the report below you will recall I tried to hang on to the flying septuagenarian, Mr.Gibbs,  for the first couple of miles.
      But we also had a young man in tow.
 He had earphones in and his "device" was saying to him"........
 Naturally I couldn't resist pointing out his dilemma.  Should he ignore the voice in his ear and try to hold on and beat 2 old wrinklies, risking failure.  Or should he listen to the voice in his ear and watch us slip away.
 No prizes for guessing ............when I spoke to him after and "ribbed him" about letting 2 old guys beat him he said he was still suffering a hangover from the copious (my word) amount of ale he had  consumed. ......on the Friday night. Lightweight,obviously!
 With the heat, the inclines and the strong breeze I doubt anyone hit their target or predicted  time.
My 53 seconds over compared pretty well with others based again on recent 5K times.
 FEMALE F40 RUNNER ....19.23 5K..........predicted 39.46..........ran 40.49...........1.03 mins over
 MALE     M50 RUNNER....19.17 5K..........predicted 39.34..........ran 41.05...........1.29 mins over
 MALE     M70 RUNNER....20.50 5K..........predicted 42.40..........ran 43.28...........0.48 secs over
 MALE    M50 RUNNER.....18.29 5K.........predicted  37.58..........ran 41.07 !!.......3.09 mins over
  Hardly surprising that the latter runner was very disappointed with his time.   He said he had been doing plenty of speedwork recently but had perhaps been neglecting endurance runs.  He concluded he had been caught out by lack of balance in his training.  Easily done at this time of year.
 In conclusion,  the event is not quite as fast as the organisers claim.....allow about a minute particularly if the sun's high in the sky!

Monday, 3 September 2012

THOLTHORPE 10K....for a change!

Living in Yorkshire but being a member of Sale Harriers in Cheshire, my inclination when choosing races is to look generally to travel west. So yesterday I thought I would stay in the White Rose county and keep race selection "fresh" by sample a new event for me, the THOLTHORPE 10K, being held for the 17th time.
 The event's website promotes the event as a friendly race, ( so presumably no pushing, no punching, no barging, no biting allowed)  on a measured fast course.  With a finish adjacent to a "picturesque" duck pond it certainly sounded very attractive.
 THOLTHORPE   is now a sleepy commuter village 5.25 miles to the east of the A1; 11 miles to the NW of York. But it'a bit off the beaten track.  One tip if you have satnav in you car, use it!  It's  not  quite the easiest of places to find as the area is crisscrossed by a myriad of narrow country lanes and you may even
find yourself paying 40P each way when crossing the rickety wooded ALDWATER BRIDGE TOLL BRIDGE at 5 miles per hour. The satnav has warned me!
 The THOLTHORPE 10K could be said to be the very antithesis of the mass participation 10Ks.
The venue, a quintessential sleepy Yorkshire village with a Church, a pub and a duck pond in the middle is not quite just off Albert Square Manchester.  There's no need to enter months ahead to get in; despite the website saying queues for entry on the day would be "manic" I simply  strolled  up to an empty desk an hour before race start time and hand over a modest £8.  You won't be lining up with a host of invited foreign athletes.  No problem parking on the lane leading to the remains of the former RAF second world war air base and a nice commemorative mug as a souvenir.
 Now  I think we all know the formula for 10K prediction time don't we?
You take your recent 5K time , double it and add a minute.  Simple.
 You then simply divide your predicted time by 10 and you're away. In fact why bother going, you know what time you'll be doing anyway.   But in reality, not quite so simple.

Having run 20.59 and 21.02 in 5ks recently the formula would suggest a target therefore of 43 minutes. So quite simply hit 4.18 for each K and there you have it.  But doubts about the course set in during prerace conversation with Bingley super, super vet FRED GIBBS who said he would be looking for approx. 42.30 "on this course" clearly implying that it certainly wouldn't be flat.
 It wouldn't be cool either; the temperature was rapidly reaching and surpassing 20 degrees which came as a bit of a shock to the system after recent single figure temperatures.  Throw in a strong westerly breeze and we knew we were in for a tough morning.
 I replied that I was looking for  about 43 so quite clearly I said I would try to stay on Fred's shoulder for as long as I could!  No easy task as 74 year old Mr. Gibbs has a whole string of British masters titles to his credit and currently ranks no.1 M70 UK for 10 mile.
 Fred slipped by in the first uphill K .  I managed to hold on for the first couple of miles but the gap slowly widened. Whilst he was never much more than a good stone's throw away, I just couldn't bring him back.
He went on to run 43.28 to achieve 3rd place in the 2012 UK ranking.
 I  was 25 seconds behind running 43.53.  A good sold run for my 144th 10K.
The splits reflect the undulations of the figure of 8 course.  It's far from being pan flat but no where near as challenging as the Boggart Chase will be in two week's time.
                         4.25  4.16  4.18  4.19  4.25  4.27  4.31  4.27  4.45(!)  3.57
Ripon's MICHAEL APPLETON  won the race relatively unchallenged in a moderate 35.17 from ex Otley and Ilkley Harrier MATT COX  (36.29) making a comeback after an horrendous bike accident in which his front forks spontaneously collapsed.   Nasty! Good to see him back.
New Ilkley Harrier BETH MASSEY was first lady in 40.49.
 I was suprised that the vets categories were in 10 year bands and that there was actually NO M70 category
  But such was the excellence of Fred's run that beat me the M60 award despite being 74 (!).
For me, some meagre consolation in being first M60.    Well done Fred!