Today the Towpath and Trail 10K at the Shireoaks Bowling Club, near Worksop and with a leisurely 11am start.
The route starts off with a little climb through what is now a nature reserve but used to be Shireoaks Colliery. We do a full loop around this before heading back to where we started and then down to the Chesterfield Canal which we head along before looping around a lake and returning pretty much along the same route. There's a bit on tarmac, a bit on grass and a lot on towpath and trail, as you’d expect.
There’s a few of those ‘cyclist maiming’ gates to squeeze through, kissing gates to negotiate and, oh my, two stiles to climb over in the last kilometre, just when that’s the last thing you want to do.
A decent run though, well organised and well marshalled. Although they did let themselves down at the end my making everyone queue to fill their own cups from two water buts. The queue was huge and many like me were at fainting point. The cups were actually souvenir mugs but it would have been even better if they’d pre-filled them.
There were also flapjacks at the end which go down well with us and the dogs. Everyone has a dog with them, not just us and there’s a football field to give them a run on afterwards.
The course is quite tight in places and not fast. I’m not terribly impressed with my time but a placing inside the top 50 of a race of around 250, points to it being better than I thought.
Back home for the usual R&R then off for a debrief and food in sunny Stapleford. Naturally what I want to eat in the Wetherspoons is off and it’s full of all the local lowlifes tonight, so we don’t dally and head to the Horse and Jockey. Much better.
(Sunday 19th May)