Vale of York 10 – 17th April 2016

Vale of York 10 2016

In the quest for a better 10 mile PB the next stop was the inaugural Vale of York 10. Thanks to Guy Gibson for bringing this race to my attention and also for chauffeur duties on race day.

The race started at an airfield (Gliding Centre) and this brings some very good benefits:

  1. Ample parking for all spectators.
  2. Plenty of space for Portaloos (and after picking up our numbers we didn’t have to wait too long).
  3. Easy to find somewhere to warm up which I did after previous portaloo stop. Guy on the other hand did the tried and tested “static” warm up.

My training into the leadup had been curtailed slightly, firstly due to our vacation (although I still did 50+ miles over 12 days), however the main issue was falling ill on our return. The positive spin on this is hopefully I’d be fresher come race day due to the reduction in volume.

On to the race and after a slightly delayed start we were off. The start was slightly odd as it’s on the runway and to make sure we complete the right distance it goes a good half a mile before a 180 turn and back past the way you started.

Once out onto the roads proper the race takes in the some very quiet country roads (you benefit from completely closed roads). As promised it was very flat with only a couple of very minor “inclines”.

The course only goes through a couple of villages called Healaugh and Catterton. This for me was the only downside with a distinct lack of spectators out on the course. This might grow as the race does but with its location I can’t see it.

Vale of York 10 2016
Vale of York 10 2016

Back to my race and after the week just gone I didn’t want to push it therefore pre-race I decided to stick with 6.30 pace for the majority of the race and sneak under 65 minutes. This worked well for the first 6 miles which felt very comfortable. However, it’s funny how quickly a race can change, from “coasting” along, the next two miles were under target at 6.38 pace. No matter what I couldn’t up the pace, my legs felt like they had no power. I can only assume it was down to still recovering from the previous week.

The last two miles were back under target pace (6.28 /mi) but by then the damage had been done. I needed to run much faster for the last two miles. I finished outside 65 minutes in 65:13 and only 4 seconds off a PB.

As an aside, 2 days later I ran the summer league 5 mile in 30.27 averaging approx. 6.05 /mi giving me confidence that adequately recovered I can run well under 65 for 10 miles. Maybe I just need a summer league 10 miler and a load of red vests to chase for a better time (how about it Pete Dearing!?).

Next up on June 8th is the Otley 10 miles which is a low key affair with only about 60 runners. As it’s an evening race I’m hoping I can replicate Tuesday night form when I seem to run my best times. If not then I’ve heard about a potential local 10 miler near Gilberdyke at the end of August that will probably be another bite of the cherry.

Guy Gibson – Vale of York 10 2016
Guy Gibson – Vale of York 10 2016

Back to the Vale of York, Guy Gibson is a consistent performer finishing in 1:14:32 for 165th. A time which he was very happy with.

If you’re looking for a flat fast early road season 10 miler then the Vale of York 10 comes highly recommend. It doesn’t have the hills of Ferriby and if it’s a still day like we had then much less windy than Snake Lane 10. I can see plenty of people setting a PB on the Vale of York 10 course. Also, there’s even some decent prize money for those that are fast enough.

Snake Lane 2016

Why is it called Snake Lane it not something that passes the lips of a finisher of this race. It sneaks and “snakes” it way out into the countryside past fields and small villages. At several points you can look up to see lines of runners circumnavigating the country lanes.

Unless you’re the winner of course, that accolade went to the rather appropriately named Russ Best completing in a quite unfamoulable (at least for me) time of 00:52:40. The view would not have been too dissimilar for our very own Mike Hargreaves, finishing in an impressive 00:54:33 for third place. Sticking with third well done to the aforementioned Mike Hargreaves plus Chris Adams (00:59:03) in 17th and Gareth Young (00:59:39) in 21st taking the third men’s team prize.

Before I bore you with the details of my race it was great to see the race supported as well as ever, with 35 members competing. On top of that I saw plenty of members, their friend and families out supporting, without which the race would not be what it is.

Back to the runners, there was some great performances. Michael Petersen proving that he does race longer than 10k and getting a PB of 01:07:05 (118th) for his efforts. The ever improving Danny Wilson bagged another PB, finishing in 01:06:23 (108th). Not quite a member but should be soon Andrew Deyes showing his ability already with a PB of 01:04:09 (56th), beating his time from 4 weeks previous at Ferriby 10 (01:04:34).

Darren White - Snake Lane 10As for my race the intention was to average 6.30 and finally go sub 65 for 10 miles. At the start I was a little penned in, apparently being in front of the sub 70 minute sign doesn’t actually equate to those around you doing 7 minute miling. However rant over, it forced me to start steadier which I don’t always do.

Somewhere between 1 and 2 miles I caught Sara Rookyard. Knowing she is the pacing queen I would have stayed put however we was being gapped by a small group in front and the pace wasn’t quite fast enough. I decided to push on and make the chase.

Once caught I could see Danny Wilson and Steve Taylor not too far off. It won’t come as any surprise to many that they instantly became my next target. I think I finally caught them around the 4 mile mark just before the race course turns left and drop downs briefly along a track.

At this point Mike Petersen and Eddie Rex was also just ahead, all of us merging as one pack with a couple of other runners around 5 miles, which we went through in 32:53. I was hopeful of pulling back the half a minute in the second half but very aware that we had already had the best of the wind and would most likely be running into a head wind in the second half. This race unlike The Ferriby 10 in my opinion as an easier first half than second but it does have a fast finish. Could I make the time up?

And as promised the wind really hit us around 7 miles, resulting in a too slow 6:51 mile. I kept surging but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t reduce the pace per mile low enough, the next two miles in 6.48 and 6.42. I did manage to drop the others  except Graham Jones of Valley Striders. The plan now was just to try and  hang on to him and finish with quick last mile.

However although I did pick up the pace a little with a 6.35 I finished in 01.06.07 and over a minute outside my goal. Obviously that is a negative and I hoped to be well under 65 by this time of the year. However the positives from the race outweigh the negatives. Has already mentioned the great turnout from Harriers and battling with teammates. I felt stronger than I have for a while. It’s my seconds fastest 10 miler ever. And my second 5 miles was only 14 seconds slower than the first half meaning I didn’t fade as much as I thought.

The plan now is to keep the training hard and do it all again on April 17th at the Vale of York 10.