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by Val Baxter

January 18, 2014

Monkey Business


The York Brass Monkey 19 January.

It was a great day for running. The sun was high in the sky for the time of year. It was a crisp spring like day and there I was lining up with the best 1/2 marathon runners in the area. On the start line I looked to my left and saw Jamie Graham, and just behind him was his wife Lorna; on my right, Keith Robertshaw. The atmosphere was tense – you could tell there was domestic competition there. It was the situation where you could tell that the next day the winner would get breakfast in bed.

I edged away from them and left them to their own personal battle, I knew what I was wanting to do. The course was cleared and the starter set us all off. I set off with the leading pack, cracking out 5:45 minute mile pace.

10 miles into the race, and the lead pack were down to 6 of us and I was conscious that the pace had dropped to 5:50s. I pushed on, increasing the pace to 5:40 taking two of the pack with me; it was starting to hurt, but I knew it was hurting them as much as me. The sun was now baking on my back, I was trying to regain my scalp from Jamie (Redcar in September) looking at a PB, racing down the last 1/4 mile striding out trying to break away for the finish, but they were still coming, stride by stride.

Racing now, the three of us charging for the tape, the challenge now for third place had gone, I was guaranteed a medal, but we were still all shoulder to shoulder. 50 metres to go, my eyes are bulging…30 metres, still desperately trying, my neck twisted, face distorted…10 metres to go and I am starting to dip for the tape. I bend forward…

Brian, Brian…wake up, yer mates here to take you to the park run (sigh). Awwww it was all just a dream. Hope it goes that well tomorrow. 😉

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