Yesterday evening Otley AC had one of their monthly handicap races. This one was 2.9 miles (4.7 km) around woodland to the south of Otley. With one large hill at about half way.
Having ran 28 miles (45 km) the day before and 6 miles (10km) eleven hours before the handicap I wasn't expecting anything fantastic in terms of time. In fact, I wouldn't have been surprised if I'd finished last. Especially with all that mud.
I started with three other runners [Lloyd Best, Simon Toyne and Richard Smith] and they immediately sped off into the distance, as expected. After about a mile (1.6 km) I realised that I was actually closing quite rapidly on one of them. Passed Lloyd going up the hill and then closed the gap significantly on Simon and Richard. Unfortunately they took a slight wrong turn just after 2 miles (3.2 km) and I passed them both at that point and stayed in front. Shortly afterwards I began overtaking many of the runners who had started before me although I was never overtaken by any faster runner who started behind me.
So, a very good run be me ... and an excellent time too. 19:18 is just one second slower than my best on that course which dates back to June 2007.
This event was followed by a much enjoyed barbecue at Otley Cricket Club where it was good to see and catch up with long standing member Phil Robinson who's still recovering slowly after a horrific cycling accident about 12 months ago.
Also in news ... best wishes to Simon Anderson on this weekend's attempt at a Bob Graham Round. And then there's the Anglo Celtic Plate 100k in south Wales on Sunday - all the best to those runners (especially the England team, of course).
And finally some sad news for music fans. Jon Lord - keyboard player with The Artwoods, Deep Purple and Whitesnake - died earlier this week after suffering a pulmonary embolism. His work with those bands was outstanding (especially with his Hammond organ) but he has also been quite prolific in recent years as a writer of classical music. BBC Radio 4 aired an obituary this afternoon during which someone mentioned that Jon Lord was the only person ever to have been #1 in the classical music chart and #1 in the pop music chart.