Saturday, 16 January 2010

Calder Valley club handicap

My only race till the Pennine Bridleway and then till the 21st feburary at Ilkley moor. I saw this race as a good test to see how my winter training was progressing and what I needed to work on.

The rain had apparantly cleared a lot of the snow over the moor to Stoodley Pike which disappointed me slightly as i was hoping that my bog trots round the Chew Valley would come into play and get me a few extra places. But I had no need to worry,

I struggled to get any blood into my calves in the opening mile or so which led to me being quite far down the field with a lot of work to do. Gradually on the way out to the Pike I began to get going but it was a boggy slog so i settled into a nice pace in order to put in a strong 2nd half when i hoped to reel in people who had started too fast.

Turning the corner upto the Pike the 1st runners came past, i think the winner Steve Smithies had about 5 or 6 minutes on me at the point and i was only halfway. And then to my further dismay I reckoned Bill and Graham had a good 3 or 4 minutes on me by the Pike and i was lying in 17th place.

On the run back down from the Pike my conservative start stared to pay off with me taking over 3 people and pulling away from those behind me. Now my run was becoming pretty decent and i felt good. Then i hit dean lane (i think its called that) and i saw my next 2 targets that would get me a top 10 place. I had already pulled back a couple of minutes on them and now was within striking distance. Pushing through the boggy puddles and taking the short route instead of the longer drier route that most people had opted for i managed to overtake 11th place just before the narrow bit that led to the first ascent but in this case descent of the coiners junior race.

First mistake followed shortly after, a slip on the rocks whilst trying to jump over a stile led to a nicely cut knee but no matter as i was now on the descent through the fields. I was closing so quickly on 10th and by the bottom of the first descent just before passing through some sort of farm thing i was right behind him. Then i hit a road crossing and took the oppertunity to push past and opened up a sizeable lead even to my suprise closing down Graham Hill despite the massive lead he held over me at the Pike.

Into the finish and slumped over..job done 10th place with a nice cut as well.

Into the shoulder of mutton. Only 40 seconds behind Graham in the end and 1:10 behind Bill..great run and first junior prize to boot.

Lessons learned

1) Need to be more solid in the 1st half
2)Descending is going well
3) Dont try to leap over stiles on icy ground

6 Miles, 50 minutes

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