Following a last min decision, due to a change in childcare duties, I was free to run on Thursday evening and decided to enter the 2015 Apperley Bridge Canter along with a good turnout from the club.
The race is billed as a multi terrain race, but I decided to run in road shoes and was glad I did as 90% of the race was tarmac. Due a change in route because of canal path closures and not knowing the area I was completely unaware of what lay ahead.
The route had three steady climbs which tested the legs and lungs, but in comparison to the hills I have been doing recently they were easily runnable and enjoyable (for me anyway). The places I gained on the hills were balanced out on the flat/downhill tarmac sections which made great racing.
Toni (friend from Otley AC), and I had an enjoyable battle on the night; From the start I could always see Toni just ahead but never gained until the second noticeable climb, around half way, where I caught up and pulled ahead. Toni then caught me on the flat/downhill tarmac section. Going into the final mile we were side by side covering each other’s move. My saving grace was a steep downhill grassy bank, switching in to off road mode I flew down the hill and took a slight lead. But it was not long before Toni was on my shoulder again.
Into the final field and about 800m to go and the race was on. The route took us around a large playing field and I could sense Toni behind me all the time. We turned the final corner and on to the last 200m and us both set off for a sprint finish.
Every time I increased my pace Toni was there, I could hear her breathing hard and giving it her all. With 10-15m to go and with the lactate levels almost at the max, I moved into top gear and gave it absolutely everything I had and held on to cross the line just ahead.
Immediately after crossing the finishing line the retching started and waves or nausea hit, yep I had been pushed to the limit and it confirmed I had given it everything.
I was thankful for the steady climbs and minimal off road sections, without them Toni would have easily taken the victory. It was a great battle and I thank Toni for pushing me hard and next time I’m sure Toni will take the honours, this is what I love about racing.
However the performance of the night for me goes to fellow club member Lisa Maughan, following a time off due to injury and family commitments Lisa confirmed last night she is back and running really well, especially after doing Ilkley Trail race earlier in the week.
First home for OAC was Tom Midgley in , Also for Otley were Mark Hall, Steven Small, Andrew Rayner, Sara Eliott, Lisa Maughan, and Sara Richard, myself and Toni Midgley.
Details from my Garmin: