So I keep saying I am a new strider but I have now been part of the group since May so it’s probably time to take away my newbie title and give myself the ‘guy who brings the cake’ title (courtesy of my girlfriend of course). I have never written a race report before but since I was the only strider to take part in Burton Leonard 10k [and indeed, the first race report on the site for this race. Excellent! – Ed.], it seems like I should write a race report as it is a race I would recommend in the future.
So I entered this race because I only had 2 Sundays off in the month of July and I was itching to get more 10k competitions under my belt. So I had a look around and there was nothing within the distance I could compete at as the Beamish 10k had been cancelled, a race I thought would be excellent around the grounds but never mind I booked up to this one instead!
It only cost £10 with a UKA number and it was only about 70ish miles away just outside Harrogate on the 19th July. I couldn’t find race reports online off anyone who had done it apart from the fact in the description it described a few obstacles on the route. So I entered with a good friend of mine who doesn’t do a lot of competitions or even has the need to train but is a good runner and definitely had the capability to do it. So we drove down with our girlfriends and showed up to this little village and when I say little village, it was tiny. The whole place was shut down for this race, I think it had been going on 4 years but it was amazing to see a community come together like this to stage this race, everyone in the village must have either been competing or helping out.
So we collected our numbers and made our way to the start line which was a little unnerving as the weather was just starting to change but it stayed good throughout the race. The marshal sounded the horn and off we went, immediately my friend and I could tell we were losing time as we started right at the back and I mean out of 350 people-ish we were 2 from the back. We decided to take it easy at first as there was limited room to pass and we didn’t want to get too pushy and obstruct people.
We got up the first 1k in a reasonable 5:16 and then as the group spread out we started making some keen and aggressive overtakes. The first part of the route was old country roads, pretty standard to run on no problems at all. We came across a ford and there were two routes, the foot bridge (the sensible dry option) or run through it and it was quite a big ford. By the time we had realised we could use the foot bridge we were half way through splashing water and mud everywhere.
After this we started an uphill climb, just gradual nothing to sinister, my friend started to pull away and honestly I could have kept up but normally I exert myself too early in races and come across the finish line on my hands and knees. So I let him go and proceeded to continue with my own strategy, it got very cross country very fast around the 4k mark, running through fields, down long sloping muddy paths which were very claggy and liable to slipping. As I came out the woods as I would call it onto 8k I was feeling good. I started to pick up the pace, it was back on good solid roads and paths so I really turned the wick up and attacked a hill the best I could. I could now hear foot steps behind me and I was being chased by 4 club runners in the same group and they were gaining on me quite quickly. The competitive side of ‘these 4 from Harrogate harriers’ I think it was are not going to pass me came out. So I pushed hard for the last 2k with a 400m sprint finish. I was happy that I managed to pull out a gap to them and they didn’t even get the chance to pass me, I didn’t set a PB but with the tricky terrain I felt I did okay with a 56:32 only a minute and a half of my latest PB.
At the end we got water, a banana, a sports bag and a medal quite a good little reward for the price I paid to enter and for such a small event the support from such a tiny village was great. I would definitely do it again!