Report by Mick Jeffrey
Last year I did my favourite Sunday morning training run around these two adjoining reservoirs and was surprised to see a Grim up North event tent set up in the car park. I decided to enter the event this year as I know the route like the back of my hand and it is the nearest non fell race to home. Last year there appeared to be a very small field so there was the prospect of a tidy haul of ROY points.
However this year the car park was full 45 minutes prior to the start time and I had to park in the lane up to Timble. There were well over a hundred runners doing one of the many race variants available, most dressed in leggings, woolly hats, long t shirts and rain tops some with water back packs. It was only 3 degrees C and I being a wiry Yorkshireman was clad in shorts and an Otley ac vest. As my wife keeps telling me where there’s no sense there’s no feeling!
All the races were due to start at 9.30 and well over one hundred runners were marshalled onto the narrow path behind the toilet block. I decided to start further forward than normal to avoid being blocked. I saw only two other hardy souls in shorts and singlets.
Soon after the off I realised I had over estimated the benefit of local knowledge and under estimated the prowess of a lot of the overdressed competitors. Even before Swinsty hall I was in oxygen debt and had to throttle back significantly. I overtook no-one but was passed by others all the way round. Very depressing! Nontheless I got back into my stride after three miles or so and managed to salvage a reasonable race. I finished in 11 th place out of 55 finishers in the 6.7 mile race, some three minutes quicker than my best tempo run on that course.
13 men completed the 6.7 miler but 42 ladies!
1st Stephen Walker Tadcaster Harriers 40.18
7th Catherine Hillerby Morley Running club 50.21
11th Mick Jeffrey Otley AC 52.48