It's not often one is given this kind of opportunity, I ain't getting any younger. The advice was unanimous in that I should grab it with both hands and give it a right good go and not worry about where I came in the field but to enjoy the experience.
The Yorkshire Three peaks deflated me somewhat, following my bonking episode. It even crossed my mind to contact the organiser of the inter counties team to pull out. I was talked around by my coach at the club who told me to move on and focus on the next goal. So I went for it. I will give the three peaks another go and get under the magical 3hrs 30 time. Maybe next year.
I was quite nervous on the journey down to Blackburn with my Dad, piling the pressure on myself again unnecessarily and lacking self confidence. It's easy to say not to worry, but I've always looked at the negatives rather than the positives. I tried to think of the good races I've had this year (and last).
|Start of the ladies race|
There was plenty time before the race so I chilled out a little and watched the start of the ladies race. It was at this point I noticed how few runners there were. I was expecting a couple of hundred, but there mustn't have been more than 80. Once the ladies were off, I had a joggle around the first part of the course to see what was awaiting. The ground was firm and as dry as sticks. A cracking trail climbing up to the forest at the top. It reminded me of Bothal woods near home, but with hills! There were to be three laps. I hate laps....
|A small small|
After the first lap I felt good and was racing with a guy from Northern Ireland. I was catching him on the climbs, but he caught me on the descents. It was a great duel until the finish. I noticed a few runners dropping out, probably the heat. I wish I had given my old man a bottle of water to hand me when I passed him, but too late. I was gradually moving up the field, a far cry from the last descent at the three peaks! This gave me a boost, also the support from the ladies NECAA team spectating. I even managed a sprint finish, just pipped by the Irish chap mentioned earlier. I found out afterwards that he is a 32 minute 10k and low 15 minute 5k athlete. Wowza.
I finished first counter for the North East Counties. a cracking day and one I won't forget. Shame I couldn't keep the vest as a memento. I am so pleased I took my chance. You don't know if you don't try!
Thanks for the opportunity!