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.