Saturday 21st February
As this is the first Bowland organised race of the year I decided to also make it my first race of the year. Not really at full fitness or lightness, I wasn't expecting too much. Beating my previous time of 48 ish minutes would do. So I went through the usual procedures and gathered with the rest in the schools yard for a head count. A little bit of a dusting of hail and we were off. Up the road then onto the slightly undulating boggy fields, and after a short time I caught Graham Lund. This was unexpected as he was really strong last year with some great races at the sharp end. After a mile or so the climb starts. It's runnable at first and at this point I passed Chris Reade another strong runner that I never expected to pass. Buoyed by this I started the steep hands on knees climb to the top of Fair snape. Patchy melting snow made things a bit tricky, but it was no excuse for me tripping and doing a forward roll just after the summit. I think my legs were just a bit dead. The run across slightly down off Fair snape then slightly back up to Parlick is normally I joy, but the melting snow made it slippy and tricky. Still we all got on with it and powered on. I felt like I ran this fairly well a 6.23 mile on Strava showed this. Up onto Parlick , a quick hello to fellow Bowland runner Ian Cookson, and then it was just the steep descent, then tracks and muddy fields to go. I got passed on the descent which isn't normally the way for me when fit and I couldn't catch him all the way to the end. I felt tired on the slightly uphill boggy fields and just about held it together through the tricky wooded section, and over the line.
I finished 18 th / 136 in 44.12. A big PB so happy a with that. Rob Hope won in 36.29. Chris finished in 44.58 and Graham in 46.47.