Report from Tash Whittaker
I was a bit nervous as I set off for Bolton Abbey in 22 degree heat especially as this was my first race since November. However, it’s always good to travel to races with other club members to ease the anxieties and Laura, Nicola and Joanna who’d all done the race before assured me that it was worth it for the medal and the lovely scenery.
Pre-race was smooth with quick number collection and relatively short toilet queues for the large number of runners, allowing a chance to take in the lovely location and chat to fellow racers. It was still very hot as we set off through the woods and I was glad we had been pre-warned to lather on the midge spray as it felt like we were running through clouds of them!
Almost straight away we experienced the course’s undulations which were present throughout, some of them larger than others! For me the lower level straight and flat stretch towards Barden Bridge seemed the longest as we were out of the shade; I knew that the bridge should be coming up soon but couldn’t see it so I was pleased when we got there as it was a turning point – I sneaked in a quick pic of runners winding through the fields below before downing a welcome drink at the water station which I was pleased to see was further than half way at 3 miles!
Everyone slowed to a walk for the very steep uphill stretch through the fields and then we were able to pick up pace on a long tarmac stretch. I managed to miss the 4-mile marker so was pleased when I found out that we were actually at 4.5 miles. The last steep stretch through the woods was beautiful and this time we were going downhill and towards the finish. As I came out of the trees, I could see the finish ahead of me and it was lovely to hear my Otley AC friends cheering me towards the line which my tracker logged at 5.2 miles.
I always worry about being at the back of the field but I did better than I thought (524thout of 625) and it was a lovely, friendly event that’s got me back into doing races… and the medal is fab!
A big well done to all the other Otley AC runners.
Winner and 1st Male – Kole Broadfoot-Cox, Northowram Pumas Running Club – 30:39
1st Female – Heather Tusk, Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers – 35:59
For Otley AC
Full results here