Last night's fourth Harrogate League race was a bit strange. It was a 4.8 mile trail race hosted by Nidd Valley Road Runners at Harrogate Hockey Club.
It was perfectly normal until about 10 minutes before the start when all the runners were walked to the start area. OK so far ... until we realised that the narrow path we had spent five minutes walking along was actually part of the course. The first part. This was made all the worse by the realisation that I was now at the wrong end of the massed runners. I wasn't the only one who, for the first 400m or so, was faced with a wall of slower runners on a narrow path.
And then came the bollard at the end of this path followed by a few sharp twists and turns until we got onto the course proper which was basically a disused railway line which had been transformed into a very pleasant public footpath northwards to the River Nidd.
The final four and a quarter miles along these paths (quite narrow in places) saw me passing loads of other runners from all clubs. Not a single soul passed me though and towards the end I even passed Simon Anderson who was obviously having a hard time of it. He should be at least a minute quicker than me on this course.
Overall I was extremely pleased with my run which shows that I have now recovered from the Brive race (and the Bradford Millennium Way Relay last weekend).
It was good to see Julian Mawson there after his recent health scare and major operation. He was still recovering and I'm sure most people there were made aware, for a short while at least, of our own mortality. Julian isn't yet 40 years old so hopefully he'll make a speedy and strong recovery.