A Cracking Little Yorkshire Run?
You know what? It’s not often the strap line of something actually fits, but when it comes to the Wetherby 10k. It does fit.
I’ve run at Wetherby a few times now, 3 to be exact. It’s become slowly but surely a favourite of mine. I’m a Yorkshireman, so it’s cheap enough. It’s in Yorkshire. It’s 45 minutes away, it’s well organised. It has a big event feel. It starts at 2 o’clock! It’s a challenging enough course, it’s a mixed course. Off-road and road sections. You always get a fast enough field. It’s a cracking little Yorkshire run!
The 3 times I’ve run at Wetherby for the year of running I’ve posted times relative to where I’m at. First showing was 2014. Where I ran a 39:41. Which was fairly average for that year of running. 2015, my second year there… I thought it a good idea, to race Cannon Hall (40:31) in the morning, and then drive up to Wetherby in the afternoon. Bright spark! I ran 40:34, on extremely tired legs. But it was a good day out running! That was the week before Hull Marathon as well, taper? I had a break from it in 2016. Probably chose something else, I think it was, to just do Cannon Hall! 2017, I ventured back, to post my best time there. 34:59. Not a bad effort, fresh enough legs and not bad to say my PB for 2017 was 34:28. 2018. I am off again, we’ll see what happens. I’m not really expecting much. 10k’s aren’t really my favourite and my PB of 33:58 was set at the ultra fast Salford. It usually takes me 10k to warm up. But on the other hand, given my recent 5k PB efforts and the 10 mile at Gilberdyke averaging 5:30 minute miles. Should land me somewhere around the low 34 minute mark. Hopefully, but you never know what’s going to happen.
Race day came around quick, it’s been a quiet week this week. I ran the Denby Dash Monday with tired and achey legs after Gilberdyke. I struggled around for a 6th place Finish, pace slightly quicker than last year, when really it should have been so different. Little bit different route and I went the right way this time. You can’t race everyday and legs were in bits!
Parkrun again was quality on Saturday and really loving it lately. 17:11 for a run around, months ago it was so far away.
Onto Wetherby, I woke up way too early on Sunday morning. Decided to go out when I eventually got some breakfast and ran 5 mile in the morning. Then back home, showered, had some dinner around 11, so that it hopefully settles by the time the race comes around. It’s got warm today and it being a 2 o’clock start meant that we’d be running in the peak sun, might be good, might be bad. But plenty of water had been drunk in the build up. I set off to Wetherby around 12 ish. I haven’t drove my car since Wednesday so it felt new! Been cleaning it Thursday and Friday, so the first drive is a bit painful seeing the flies hit it and potential dust kick up from the road. So when I arrived at the racecourse at Wetherby and saw the dust blowing across, my heart sank.
Anyway, being a club championship race, as soon as I got there. Spied a Penistone contingent. 43 runners apparently from Penistone there. We got a shoutout on the tannoy before race start for being the biggest club in attendance. Amazing! Loitering and chatting with Martin, Dan, Jill and Myfanwy. Then spied Scott as he pulled into the car park. Before setting off on a warm up with him. A 2 mile loop on the back end of the race route. Taking in the last 2k. Got back to the cars in good time, didn’t wanna overdo a warm up. Because of the heat and didn’t want to dehydrate before the race even started. Hanging around the start, they called us to the line relatively early. I suppose its to get everyone in, but it’s the reason I don’t like big city 10k’s, halves or marathons; because they call you so early! Toes on the line from 1.45, speaking to a few faces I recognise and chatting around. Heat building up and skin feeling extremely dry! Plan was to set off quick and hopefully feel strong enough to hold it. Wind slightly assisting you for the first half and against you for the second, I predicted. Waiting for the toilet queue to die down, it was massive! Then we was off! I did set off quick, too quick? I didn’t think so. I felt quite comfortable.
Found myself pushing at the front. Fast downhill start and over the roundabout we go. Before hitting an off-road trail at 1.5k, saw a good friend Steve Melber marshalling at this point. Striding it out, breathing alright and feeling good. Hitting the trail, with loose stones. Some larger stones too. Hitting them and rolling an ankle every time. Probably didn’t pick the best line, no damage just slows you down a bit. Felt like the trail went on forever today. Hitting a sharp turn at a gate an the end of the trail. Can imagine it will get Trunce busy at that point later in the race. Before coming onto the road, the K markers falling quickly. And then my race changed. Breathing became shallow and a struggle and then stitch happened, right under my ribs on the left side. Struggling to move, had to cut the pace. My mile split 2-3 shows the downfall. Been passed and found myself in 4th now, struggling to move. Then finding myself in 5th before I knew it. Really thought my run was over and was struggling to get to the water station. Slowing massively. Then a runner from Harrogate stalled in front of me and dropped out, passed him laid on the grass.
‘Are you alright?’
‘Yea, I’m good, don’t worry about me’
He set off quick and was leading for a while. I was adamant I wasn’t going to go the same way. Water station down and threw it all over me. Around the corner to the 5k marker and the famous Wetherby 10k, bagpiper! 17:00 for the 5k. That’s lucky. Cause I’m feeling shocking. I knew my dreams of a low 34 was shattered. Just a case now of getting to the line. I wasn’t in the shape for a negative split and the stitch was still making me breathe shallowly. Ticking on and trying though. My early pace, didn’t return but I could pick it up a little bit. Not where I wanted to be though. A lot of the race is run on footpaths and side roads, so it’s perfect for a footpath runner. The 7k marker came and could hear Scott and Andrew another Harrogate runner, breathing down my neck. I couldn’t really kick. My lungs wasn’t allowing it. I tried to squeeze it out and moved a small gap between us. I was catching the runner in 3rd. Making distance on him as he was fading. Up and over the bridge before we hit the trail path that I warmed up on. A small out and back with a 180 degree turn. Not good. Before then hitting the tarmac again on the journey home. It’s a 1.5k drag up and back, it’s close, it’s covered in trees and narrow. Snagged my shoulder on a thorn bush, didn’t feel it at all! Until I looked and wiped a bit of blood from my arm. Plodding onto the Finish, nearly home and dry. Still wanting to bare minimum beat last years, 34:59. Trying to kick cause I knew I’d be extremely close. Seconds counting up, the finish seemed further and further. Again spying Steve with his camera as I approached.
I managed 4th Place.
4 seconds quicker than last year, the story should have been so different. The race wasn’t over when the ‘stitch’ hit, it just changed a little bit. Never really get it, will put it down to the heat, even though I love running in it, probably eating a meal as close as I did and maybe drunk a little too much water. Sometimes all of those things work, but on the day and this particular day. They didn’t. I’m not worried, I’m not fussed. It just happens and you can’t avoid it. I won’t be racing a 10k now until November time. Focus now, anything over 13.1 mile. Vale of York next weekend. With the last Spencer’s midweek. With 3 massive 26.2’s coming up. The dream is alive and kicking.
I went for a bit of a cool down with Scott and then he headed off home, I hung around for the prize giving. Picking up the 2nd men’s team prize and 4th Place runners prize. Well done to all the Team Penistone, some great results in what turned out to be a tough day out!
Got home around 4.30 ish, I definitely didn’t clean my car as soon as I got in…. back to showroom shine.
I’ll probably be out later on to make it a 108 mile week. One more week of steady work and then it’ll be back into the full swing of things. Still got a full set of holiday hours to claim though. So I better get looking, might take a full week away just to rest at some stage. But that wouldn’t be me! Bryan sent me a small quote this morning that I’ll leave you with.
That’s more like me…
Just Keep Running!