The weather may have put a few people off but I would like to thank Mo Cox for coming to watch Jock Waddington, Maurice Bellando and me walking downhill a few times last night and then for judging in the 5k race that followed.
There was a small but good quality field including Vinny Lynch, Dave Mackey, Carl Wild, Brian Brough, James Green, John Robinson, juniors Hannah Kelly walking 2k, Lauren Whelan and Jessica Isherwood 3k.
I think it would be fair to say that in the absence of Peter Kaneen (well he was there but not racing,) I started the race favourite. Some people have questioned whether he trains quite enough but since his superb joint win in the Sarah Killey Memorial, Jock Waddington has put in a 20 miler and two 11 mile walks in every week.
We were locked together in battle from the start with Jock pulling out a slight lead over the first 2k with Vinny and Dave vying for the third spot. By the fourth k, I decided to take Jock on but was unable to break away and over the final 500m, he really turned the screw and left me trailing in his wake, winning by 12 seconds in an impressive time of 23 minutes 39 seconds.
Marie Jackson said it was the first time she'd ever seen him not look like he was out walking the dog.
Dave Mackey in his first 5k race, couldn't stay with Vinny Lynch who also recorded his fastest ever time. Dave agonisingly missed out on breaking 30 minutes by just 15 seconds. They were followed by John Robinson, junior & 5k debutant, James Green and Carl Wild. Brian Brough walked on gamely despite Mo pinching the course marking cone on him, being saved by the famous graffiti artist Allan 'Leapy Lee' Callow who had drawn little yellow arrows on the road.
Many thanks to Bridget & Judy who seem to contribute so much that they should be on 'overtime' money, Allan Callow, Elizabeth Corran and Steve Taylor.
Despite being beaten, I was very pleased to set my new P.B., a full 13 seconds quicker than I managed in this race last year. I have recently described Jock as a 'Coming Man' and he certainly came last night. Perhaps if the survey was run again today, he might gain a little more than 10% of the votes and I certainly can't see him finishing behind 'Others' again.
So, I turned up for my two dates last night but another bloke walked off with my prize.