A Rear View from the Back 



by Diane Hall

Arriving for the Thirsk 10 was something I wasn’t looking forward to in some ways.  I haven’t raced it for years but was running it with friends Terry Saffin and Julian Wilkinson at the back.  It was cold and very windy although we should be thankful it was dry.

After deciding the appropriate attire, 3 layers on the body and 2 on the arms with long legs we set off on the walk around to the start.  It was very windy waiting, everyone huddled together looking for some shelter from the strong wind.  The “front” runners wearing the minimum so as not to slow them down and us back runners hoping we were wearing enough but not too much.

Wondering if the race had started we were moving forward hands hovering over watches ready to press start as we hit the chip mats.

The first part of the race had the wind on our backs, had we over dressed it was quite warm but as we turned and had the head on wind we were grateful for the extra layer.

The array of colour that passed us through the race was great to see, the different club vests to the tanned legs be it real or artificial. With the wind and the single file course our usual chatting was short lived so we had to rely on the scenery, the different shapes in lycra, the slower ones I was following were clad in an extra layer today, shorts over tights, not as good on the eye although there were plenty of tight calves, roll on the summer. It was lovely to see the snowdrops in full bloom in the hedgerows, I wonder if the front runners saw these? to the daffs in bud, are they late this year? also the snow on the hills in the distance….. oh I could go on.

The left turn just before 7 miles and the run along the road watching the front runners was good, cheering on your fellow runners who in return shouted encouragement back. It was a long drag but the turning point allowed us to thank the marshals and exchange a few pleasantries. The run back along the road seemed shorter but turning left to the finish was a long one tussling with the wind. The best view today was the finish banner.

Running at the back is as hard as running at the front, time is relevant only to yourself. A pb whether at the front or the back is an achievement.

Fortunately being at the back we didn’t have as long as others to wait for presentation.

Jim Bulman 2nd, Shaun O’Grady 3rd , Andy Pearson, Kay Neesam, Phil Miles and Ron Sherwood won vets prizes with the addition of Paul Cleasby winning the mens team prize.

Well done to everyone who took part and a big thankyou to all the marshals who stood out in the cold and wind, I did thank to them all.


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