Race Notes from Malcolm Senior

The Thirsk 10-Miler

Thirsk town lies in the Vale of Mowbray, 23 miles north of York and a one hour drive from Rotherham. A busy market square is surrounded by shops and pubs. It is a popular tourist destination close to the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. It was the home of author James Herriot and birthplace of Thomas Lord, after whom Lord’s Cricket Ground is named.

It is a well-organized race that also includes a 1.5 mile fun run at 10:00 am and a wheelchair race at 10:50 am. Bib pick up was at the racecourse where facilities were available. The start of the race is on Newsham Road, five-minute walk from the actual racecourse. The course is fast and flat, fully on roads and lends itself to a fast finishing time.The Thirsk 10-miler is staged by the Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers. Race headquarters is at Thirsk Racecourse a thoroughbred horse racing venue.

On March 19th the weather forecast was for 35 mph winds, and although my Garmin could not confirm the wind speed my legs were telling me it was very blustery. The light rain stopped, but the wind blew across the open fields meeting runners’ heads on the narrow country lanes. Water stations at approximately 3 and 6 miles. The finish was just inside the racecourse. The 1st Prize was £200 for male and female winners, and there was an extensive prize list throughout the age categories. I finished in a time of 1:11:28 to take 1st V65 and enjoyed Sunday lunch in the Lord Nelson Thirsk.

South Yorkshire Road League

Wednesday March 29th – Lodeg Moor at the Three Merry Lads.
The South Yorkshire Road League (SYRL) is a series of evening road races (start time 7:00 pm) for all running clubs and their members in the South Yorkshire metropolitam county. Akin to the Columbia Club Challenge with four 5 mile races rather than one 10 mile race. Individuals have to run all four races to score for the final awards, and the times of the best four runners are added  to count for team results. Teams are Senior and Vets, men and women. Individual awards to Seniors, then Vet 35 (women) and Vet 40 (men) upwards in five year age groups. No mixed or combined teams.

On the edge of Sheffield/Peak District, the course was very hilly. As the race started, clouds rolled in, and the rain came down, which meant it was dark as the runners finished this tough course. I ran a 38:03, placing 145 overal out of 382 – 2nd MV65

Wednesday April 12thWorsbrough Mill Barnsle
A better evening weather-wise, but only slightly better course, a fast downhill 1.5 mile finish from the 3.5 mile uphill start. I ran a 35:49, placing 119 overal out of 358 –  3rd MV65, but 2nd overall as the 1st M65 had only run this race.


Wednesday April 26thBrodsworth Village
Only one incline in this course, and it finished through the track of a country park. I ran a 34:21, placing overal 110 out of 382 – 1st MV65, maintaining 2nd overall position.

Wednesday May 10thPenistone Football Club
Boasting the highest market town in the county meant it was back to hills for this last race. A circular course on quiet country lanes, flanked by stone brick walls, with 2.5 mile climb up, 2 mile downhill, and a .5 mile uphill finish into the football group. I ran a 36:10
– 3rd MV65, maintaining 2nd overall position in the series. I received a 20 pound voucher to the Up and Running store in Sheffield, which was the sponsor of the series.