Friday night was the annual Washburn Valley Relay and I ran for Otley Mixed A on the four mile stage 2. This has always been one of my favourite events as it takes place in one of my all time favourite running places - and it's just seven miles north of where I live too.
My stage comprised one complete circuit of Fewston Reservoir and I've raced along those paths seven times previously. Those previous times were:
19 June 1999 ... Otley AC handicap ... 24:03
25 May 2000 ... Otley AC handicap ... 24:57
6 June 2000 ... Washburn Valley Relay ... 24:17
6 June 2002 ... Otley AC handicap ... 27:12
24 July 2003 ... Otley AC handicap ... 27:23
14 June 2004 ... Otley AC handicap ... 28:17
17 April 2007 ... Otley AC handicap ... 26:23
16 July 2010 ... Washburn Valley Relay ... 25:47
My time this year was most surprising as it was my quickest in over ten years. I was not expecting that at all - the path around the reservoir is undulating, twisting and very narrow in places - how I managed to pass thirteen people I'll never know.
My team, which also comprised Sharron Smith and Renee Saxton finished 16th overall (out of 50) and second mixed team behind Pudsey Pacers.
Also, for the first time this year, there was a relay for junior runners on a 1.1 mile circuit. Overall a brilliant event at which I met up again with Helen Barber and Tony Hazell who played such a large part in last year's epic Run To London.
Thanks to everyone for organising and helping stage such an enjoyable event: Nick Hodgkinson, Julian Mawson, Chris Stacey, Andrew Robertshaw, Hugh Pearson, John Armitstead, Beate Schmidt-Rohlfing and I'm sure there are a few more whose names escape me ... apologies to them but well done.