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#TBT – Travellers 6 2015

As I’m doing the Travellers 6 this Sunday, with aim to race it and finish higher then last year, then run it again for the mileage. I felt it was worthy to revisit my report from last years race, so here you go. Thanks to Yorkshire running FB page for the photo;

The last race before Christmas and my 27th race since August 2nd (parkruns excluded). Was I feeling tired and jaded? actually far from it. Ever since the enforced break when I was ill, I’ve come out of it feeling fresh and energized, not only that I feel myself getting stronger each day. My body seems to be adapting nicely to the new training plan. After doing a half decent time at parkrun the previous day, this race was all about getting a top 10 finish.

Travellers 6 is only 10 miles from my house and is known to be a very tough local race, yet people seemed to enjoy it with runners doing it every year for the past 30!. With a mid-morning start it allowed the family and myself to relax and set off a bit later than normal. We got there with 45 minutes to spare, parked up and made our way to the pie hall. I spent the build up relaxing and talking to runners from Penistone who I knew. Then Tim arrived who like me had done parkrun the previous day and we went over plans etc. Then I went outside to get warmed up. After the instructions we were walked out onto the main road and off we went. It was a short dash up the road before a swing left and quick down section before the first slog up the hill. By the time I hit the hill I had moved into the top 5 and racing with a lad from Bingley and Rich from Penistone. Besides the hill it was another blustery day on the hills, luckily it was behind us as we raced up the hill climb which lasted till we hit 1.5 miles, the first mile was done in 6:30 but I never looked at the watch as it was all about placing. During the climb I had moved up to 3rd and then dropped back to 5th and began a good tussle with Daren Nockels from Penistone for the majority of the race.

As we hit the first down hill, I managed to go up to 4th as we raced along the tops, the next mile was undulating and I managed to get a 6:20 second mile. Daren re-took 4th on the climb which was a half mile pull up to the halfway marker and I clocked a 5:59 3rd mile. It was a quick descent down hill and I kept with him but then the real pain began as we hit the hardest part of the race back up, from 3.5 miles we had basically a mile up hill into a strong head wind. Daren and I continued our battle up the hill and we pushed each other up the hill. If I wasn’t trying to keep with him I doubt I’d had got up so well. Mile 4 was clocked in 6:45 as the hill killed the pace.

We hit the top and Daren who used his experience to pull away, while I had to dig deep, I should have stuck with him but that hill had taken it’s toll. I kept 5th place until the descent when I was taken by two runners at the same time, annoyed and gutted at myself I tried to keep with them but they had the faster down hill legs. I chased them all the way down the hill. The last mile was fun but you still had to really work the hill, it was my fastest mile but should have pushed a little more. As I hit the final sting in the tail I thought I had 7th place in the bag and did a rookey mistake of not checking behind me as soon as I turned onto start/finish A Wakefield runner did a slingshot past me and out sprinted me. He had made an excellent move and by the time I knew he was there it was too late to respond. I was annoyed at this and something at races I will learn from.

However I came 8th in 38:28 and considering the hills I was happy with. I had a great tussle for most of the race with Daren, learnt that I need to be stronger coming off the top of a climb and to check my shoulder in last 800m so don’t get out sprinted. Next up for me is a 4 mile race on Boxing Day before I get the chance to chase the fast boys at the Northern Athletics 10k championships on Sunday. Weather permitting I’m hoping to improve on my recent Bolsover 10k time.

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