Saturday, 5 June 2010

Every Picture Tells A Story

Today was M's big day, it being a key race in the calendar; the Wharfedale Half Marathon. This is a lovely off road race taking in plenty of climb, skirting Conistone, Kilnsey and taking in the very long, hard slog of a climb up Mastiles Lane. The race ends with a very fast final descent back into Threshfield and is superbly organised by Bingley club mate and supremo runner, Mick Hawkins

The day was a hotty and with the race setting out at 11am no runner escaped the bright but harsh rays of the sun today. M has focused on nothing else this last week or two and was eager to run well and find out exactly how good his race preparation has been.

Setting out a tad fast, M led the first mile over the fast boys at the front; the initial road section lulling him into a slightly too fast pace. The race soon settled down with some tough running over glorious dales terrain, a hazy sunny day with slight breezes and breathtaking scenery. The views were the last thing on their minds as they dug in, racing from checkpoint to checkpoint and hydrating where they could.

My snippets of the race were wee snatches of action where the car could take me, though admittedly I nearly missed M whilst absorbed with a lovely scattering of limestone boulders! The area is one of my favourites, Burnsall and its environs being my dream home, if only. 

The final stages of the race forced me to rouse myself from a happy-snapping-stupor just in time to chase M to the finish; a bone rattling descent of 2 miles into Threshfield for the final sprint home. After a near tie with a Leeds City boy mid-way, M came in to swoop 6th place overall. A few mispunches and wrong turnings for the leading two took them out of the final results. It has to be said that all boys looked truly wasted by the finish. Nice one M, first V40 and 6th overall! Well done to all Otley and lkley mates too including Jon S, Andy W and Ewan (he braved the full marathon!). Marc S of Horsforth also ran well, racing well over his usual distance and for the third time this week. A nice prize and a bacon butty followed by cake finished off the afternoon nicely. We'll both be back next year, there's a ladies record to break. Results here.


Julbags said...

Well done M on an obviously tough route! I know Mastiles Lane well, it is a pig of a climb, though I've never run it (and on't intend to) only biked it and not recently. Strangely I was only thinking the other week that I fancied throwing myself and bike at it again....

ultra collie said...

nice going there m
cracking race like you said
think you guys should do the full monty next year ;-)

Old Runningfox. said...

Well done to M on a cracking time in the sweltering conditions. A bit different from last year when it was pouring down!
RB - I'm not sure you'd have liked Burnsall yesterday. It was heaving with people and traffic, like Blackpool, when we ran through at lunchtime, and a huge marquee by the river for a wedding party.

kate said...

good work M :) bacon butty and cake well deserved.
and some lovely photos rb. particularly like the boulder one.

Hayfella said...

Well done M - and lovely shots rb. It looks like fabulous running country. I'll get there one day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone for the congratulations - it was a tough run in that heat and I was nearly ready to throw the towel in at the first checkpoint after a too-fast 4-mile uphill in the sun! In spite of my determination not to, I did end up walking for about 20 metres at the very steep top section of Mastiles - grrr, hate being beaten by hills! Will be back next year to run a more even paced race, improve on that time and RUN THE WHOLE WAY UP MASTILES.
Kate, have to disagree with you on the photo. Personally I think the best one was the one with the boulder;-)

T.C. said...

What a great time for M! And what lovely pictures! Oh, to have a place like that to run!

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