Eccup 10 Sunday 7th July.

Eccup 10 Sunday 7th July.

Report by Howard Jeffrey

Today we were lucky with the weather which was an almost perfect 14 degrees with little wind. Unless of course anyone was still out on the course in the deluge of biblical proportions at around 1 h 55 min into the race. This course is on tarmac road and a good made up path around the Eccup reservoir. My recollections of previous years are of the heat beating back up off the tarmac and the frequent, ‘endless’, sometimes steep hills. Today it was just the hills I remembered just not as long, steep or as hard as they actually are. 

I lined up alongside brother Mick as our parkrun times indicated we were currently at a bout the same standard, over 5k at least. We were stationed about two thirds back in the field which, when the ‘gun’ went moved fairly quickly and I set my watch about 20 seconds later as I crossed the timing mat. A comfortable speed to start off going downhill and Mick was already chomping at the bit and started to pull away. The first long uphill and I managed to catch him up and settle in behind. I checked our time at mile one on my watch as we were hoping to get around or just under 1.30 today. Hey ho the reading said 0.0. I guess because it is an old polar monitor it had picked up some-one’s heart rate which confused it. Just hope it wasn’t recording their heart beat!

I re-started the watch at mile marker one which I guessed was around 10 minutes in. Between miles two and three there is a great downhill stretch of coned off tarmac road and I was able to open up a bit without going crazy. The route drops down towards the reservoir and I couldn’t resist showing off a bit as I flew down the steep bit but still not in freefall mode and I did feel good. On the flat track I kept a strong steady pace and I was on familiar training ground from years ago with Valley Striders (still 2nd claim after 33 years). We used to blast round the reservoir, doing mile reps so hard my teeth would hurt (happy days). I could hear Mick behind up to mile 4 but he sounded like the cold he had was affecting his breathing. 

Although the sun wasn’t out, it was a bonus to be in the cool of the shady trees. Round the reservoir there is the first drinks station which was heaven sent. After that the route goes up again quite sharply and the cattle grid has been replaced by a speed bump which you can go round or hurdle depending how sprightly you feel. At the false summit of this drag is the 5m marker and I guestimated that I was at about 44 minutes so OK so far. The incline lessens but continues up for a while and then there is another gentle decent but into a bit of a breeze I recollect. Legs are feeling good so I reckon I can do a negative split if the distance doesn’t get to me. First 10 mile since last November. 

Up the next hill and I think my bike turbo training helped, as I got up without too much effort, motored down the next bit which then undulated towards the next drinks station at 8 miles. I spotted another Otley vest ahead and I thought ‘I wonder if…’? Between 8 and 9 miles there is another long downhill stretch and as I still felt pretty good I pushed on to catch up the fellow Otley runner who turned out to be Gary Naylor. I tucked in behind up the second to last hill and felt I could go for broke down the last hill before the heart bursting sting in the tail climb to the finish. Usually if you catch some-one at that stage the odds are in your favour and so it turned out.

The race was won by Nathan Marsh of Leeds City in 52.58. First Lady Katie Brown of London Heathside in 1.01.48.

For Otley AC: Sean Hornby 84th in 1.10.01, Howard Jeffrey, 338th. in 1.26.38. Gary Naylor 352nd in 1.27.58. Mick Jeffrey 394th in 1.30.13, Rachel Crossdale, 569th in 1.45.15. All chip times but the results were in gun order. Sometimes they are and others not which is a bit confusing. 646 finished.

Post Script. I was pleased to see a former rival from 33 years ago. He still would be but he was in a ‘borrowed number’ today. Incidentally, he still looks exactly the same. Some kind of Dorian Gray thing going on there maybe? It got me reminiscing about all the guys who used to be at all the races and so few of them are still mixing it. When I got home and perused the results I was looking at the imminent new age group times. ‘I cudda been a contenda’ but happily I am not yet old enough, for a month at least. While I was at it, I looked at previous results from Eccup 10.

2003 1.11.39, 2004 1.04.11 (I said I trained so hard my teeth hurt). That year we won the team prize, Ian Fisher, Julian Mawson and myself. Illustrious company indeed. 

Race results:

One thought on “Eccup 10 Sunday 7th July.

  1. A very good report from Adel by our Howard J. who had a super performance beating his own older brother by 4 minutes , Howard crossed the finish line with a brilliant 1.26 . Sean H. had a well a great run , he finished with a fast 1.10 . Gary N. had a robust run too , he finished with a solid 1.27 . Former President Mick J. had superb run , he finished with a powerful 1.30 . Rachel C. had a good run also , she finished with a strong 1.45 .

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