Conditions were good for this years race with the sun finally breaking through just before the start. I had decided to start well back in the field and not wearing a watch, just run as I felt. As the race got underway I was surprised at just how far back I had actually started in this near 400 runner field.
As we made our way down the narrow road, I could initially only, trot along at just faster than walking pace. Looking ahead as the field snaked its way ahead of me I could tell that I wasn't even in the top 200! However, as gaps in the wall of runners appeared I started to slowly work my way up the field.
By the time we had reached 4 mile I hooked onto a group which included fellow Blaydon Harrier, Peter Chaffer, and as I moved to the front of this little gang, the group responded and came with me. The group staying together until just after 7 miles, when I decided to push the pace a little more. After about half a mile I realised that I was not going to be able to maintain such a pace and decided to run in surges for the remainder of the race.
Dentdale is an undulating, figure of eight course and the last couple of mile contain a couple of nasty little climbs which took any wind that I had out of my sails. However, I managed to keep it together to finish in 1.40.56 for 81st place. Not too bad for my current level of fitness. A couple of mile warm up and warm down, with Peter, giving me about 19 mile for the day.
The race was won by McBride of Royton in 80.01. Which for the record was one second slower than my time for 3rd place back in 1990. Fellow Blaydon runner, Peter finished 98th in 1.42.46.
A great race - hopefully I will not be waiting another 24 year to run it again.
Thanks to Francesca for photos.