RR always like to support local races, and the Baildon Boundary Way this year proved to be a real gem that I’m sure will attract a larger RR participation next year. It’s a half marathon route which is predominantly off-road but on reasonable footpaths. There’s mud, forest, a narrow suspension bridge across the River Aire, canal tow paths, moorland and horse gallops. Coupled with the friendly support around the course and the attentive marshalling and 3 water points it’s a race that I found a pleasure to take part in.
This year the RR entries were from Mark Ayre and myself (Pete Wilkie). Mark dutifully wore his RR t-shirt but I was remis in inadvertently leaving mine at home. Both of us arrived at the start fully warmed up; Mark from cycling there and myself from running there. Similarly for both of us the race formed part of our marathon training schedule. I’m not sure that we’d have put in so much pre-race exercise though had we realised how hilly the route was going to be!
The course tends to impart a false sense of ease as up to mile 8 there’s little elevation change. However from that point it changes and climbs up to the moor via Shipley Glen. At the bottom we were sweating in the sun in shorts and t-shirts whilst at the top we were running through patches of snow. With a height gain between the start and finish of approximately 150m it’s not a course that offers PB potential, but in my opinion that doesn’t detract from the race at all. Mark finished this, his longest run of the year so far, looking comfortable at 1:52:30. I tried to stick to my training plan ‘easy’ pace and finished in 1:43:39.
Thanks go out to Baildon Runners for hosting such a well organised and fun event, and to Ann Chivers for providing a RR support presence.
Details can be found at www.baildonrunners.tk – the race next year will be on 6th April 2014. It’s an event that sells out in a matter of days so prompt action is needed when entries open. It’s genuinely open to runner of all speeds, and so suitable for anyone in the club to participate in.