Had a good solid three week block of training since the Abbey dash averaging 55 miles per week. Session wise its been a difficult few weeks with the weather but have managed a few treadmill tempo sessions and a hard fought 9 x 1 mile session in the freezing cold. The hamstring has stood up well to everything I have thrown at it and the target annual mileage total I set myself (2400 miles) has long been passed.
My last cross country was a bit of a disaster and I've managed to avoid the mud since that first fixture where I finished way down the field having stopped halfway through to massage my seized up hamstring!
So how sensible was it to throw myself into a 12km championship race ? Four laps of Summerhill on a cold, muddy afternoon would be a true test especially given the amount of mud on the course.
After a "steady" start which has become the norm for me I found myself in around 70th place but working my way through the field. After the second lap I was just outside the top 50 but continuing to work my way through I managed to pass a few more and finished in 45th in a time of 47:05. 348 finishers.
The 2007 Championships were held on the same course and in that year I finished 68th in 48.09. 215 finished that day. Looking back at some of my other performances in 2007 it seems the last five years have seen my 10km times come down by around a minute as well.
Overall very happy with that!
Well done to Andy Wiles of New Marske who flew round the course on Sunday in a very swift 39.48 ahead of Carl Smith from Leeds City and Lewis Timmins of Morpeth. For those who dont appreciate the work effort of these guys at the front end Andy didnt have the energy to undo his own spikes afterwards and asked one of his team mates wives to take them off for him (by the way she did actually take them off for him - my better half wont let my spikes within 20 metres of her never mind touch them!)
Next race Ribble Valley 10km....after last years mishap on the hills of the Guisborough Woods race I am getting my racing fix over the other side of the country this year. Its also another race I have never run before but I've heard lots about it.