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PFRAC Winter Handicap Race #3

There was no time to enjoy the recent victory as I was back out Tuesday night with the club for the 3rd race of the club’s winter handicap series. I had so far clocked 28:30 on both the clockwise and anti-clockwise routes. This time out I was given a 23:15 handicap. This meant I set off 23:15 after the start, with only Damian Kiplin & Shaun Dimelow setting off after me. In the past two races Shaun has caught me, my aim was to get round before getting caught and to improve my time, with how it’s done winning it is a very tall order.

So to Tuesday night, I was in two minds about doing it, as Holmfirth took a lot out of me but besides the road race leagues, I never done a series and really want to do all 8. It was bloody freezing and like a fool I left my gloves at home. I jogged down to the leisure centre and was congratulated by many at the club, this was both humbling and very much appreciated, it was nice for it to be recognised and last time I won, the club I was with didn’t even acknowledge it.

The race started later then planned but credit to Keith and his helpers it all went smoothly. I was off at my designated time and had Martin in my sights within first 200m. The route was same as race 1, going out from the leisure centre and up rockside. I prefer this way as both road crossings you are going up, so you are not going as fast and can make a better judgement call then when you are going all out down a hill. I passed Martin as we hit Rockside and I then chased down Simon on the climb up. It was hard to get my bearings at first, when it’s in the dark you can’t see the top and this time I held something back in first mile, this wasn’t my original plan but it actually transpired it was a good call. As I hit the top the first mile buzzed for a 6:52 mile. But then the brakes were off as I really attacked the descent into Millhouses. I think pushing so hard downhill at Holmfirth has improved my descending skills as in parts I dipped under 5 minute pace. It’s a crazy descent into darkness and you just need to switch the brain off.

As we came into Millhouses we had streetlights again second mile buzzed for 6:09, 10s faster then last time. I could see a train of head torches all the way up to the top near the windmills. I put in a serious challenge on the Royd Lane and passed half a dozen runners. One runner though Matthew Robinson decided to stick to my shoulder as we hit the top and began our descent. I attacked the downhill and Matthew matched me all the way as we took it in turns to pass one another. This battle was a fab way to finish the race. I still think I can go faster on the downhill section as during the latter part there was a lot of traffic and cars to avoid, as we entered into the final section of mile 4 you can take the steps or run wide and slingshot round the bend. I decided to take the bend and hit 5:23 for mile 4, 15s faster then my previous time. I then attacked all the way to the end with Matthew giving me a good battle as we crossed the line. The final stretch to the leisure centre was my slowest time. So I know I can improve on my time if weather/conditions are in my favour.

However I finished 10th which is a massive improvement on 36th in race 1 and 34th in race two. I also clocked a new PB in 27:52, a 38s PB. I now sit in 5th place in the WMA League table 8 pts behind 4th place and 11 pts off 3rd. My time was also the 3rd fastest by anyone this year. The next one is on 22/11 and is the anti-clockwise route.

  • 10th in 27:52

Kit used in race

  • Adidas response technical top
  • Adidas 5 inch response shorts
  • Adidas Tempo 7 running shoes
  • Sockmine lightweight griplock socks
  • Adidas Sweat Band
  • Garmin 220
  • Unilite PS-H8 Prosafe head torch

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