The funny feeling that race day wasn't to be my day had been kicking about in my head all week. The last couple of weeks I've felt a bit stale and tired of racing. But, Ribble Valley 10k is such a high quality race it couldn't be missed and there was no pressure to be up there with the likes of Helen Clitheroe leading the ladies out, followed by all-stars Katie Ingram and Rebecca Robinson! I'd been thinking that my Thirsk 10m time was an indicator that I should at least match my PB, 35.20 on this course and so hoped I'd be feeling up for it on the day.
Somehow I just wasn't. This is such a great race too with some great names from the international running scene and lots of mates turning out including a healthy number of Bingley vests. Even Kevin O kindly made the trip over, chauffeuring our Bingley trio and more than ably supporting us around the course with the most excellent hand clapping and bag management.
Needless to say the race got off to a flying start and careful not to burn it too early I held back thinking my strength would bring me through the field. On that basis I had a reasonable start clocking 5.42 for my first mile, a bit slow but at least within reach of what I needed to do. Pleased with myself for holding back I gradually passed many of those who'd overcooked their first mile but feeling less comfortable than would be expected and the race just unravelled from there. As the miles clocked by I seemed unable to find my usual pace and by mile 3 knew it wasn't to be my day with a feeble 5.53 split and mashed legs. My heart sank, knowing it was just a matter of hanging on. I was then lifted in a small way by the sight of Rebecca Robinson just ahead. I worked for the remainder of the course slowly catching her and nearly made it until she seemed to recover in the last descent and maintained her few seconds lead. I dragged myself over the line in 35.51, rather displeased and feeling like I'd run a marathon.
Great runs for many though, including M who had a storming performance coming in with a PB of 35.57 (only 6 seconds behind me - eek!). Results here. Tricky managed to run strong with no knee trouble this time and Mark H who had run 20 miles on Tuesday still made it over the line in a respectable time. I clocked Anthony B of Chasing Pavements who was a little way in front returning to form, running near to but not quite matching his own best. Fellow club mates all did great, including M, Stewart M & John C who won another prize for Male Vets Team and special mention of course to Vic Wilkinson, club mate and incredible athlete. Vic managed a sub 35 10k after a major injury earlier this year and secured the bronze champs medal, well deserved for an awesome run. I finished 5th overall & 1st V35. I didn't come home empty handed at least but I was a bit fed up with myself. Its an easy rest week now to give the body and mind a break before marathon training kicks off. No more sulks now, there's a new training year to think about.