20 runners took part in this morning’s Northern 10.
This was much improved on recent years but still less than half
the number in the previous week’s Isle of Man Bank sponsored
Peel to Douglas run.
Bernie Cannan (51), Peter Hughes (65)
Curphey (57). Brian Osbourne was just
out of picture.
Why? Well the poor publicity did not help. Neither
did the timing – only 7 days after the Peel to Douglas
with a Fell Race and a 4 Mile Road Race sandwiched in
between. And perhaps some people will never be attracted
to this event in the same way as the classic Peel to
Bernie Cannan took the lead in the first mile and stayed there till the end.
Sounds like a boring race? Far from it. It was what
I think the purists describe as an absorbing race. Although
Bernie never lost the lead, he was never more than 10
seconds ahead either.
Peter Hughes started a little more aggressively than
usual as the runners headed from Ballacloan Stadium
in Ramsey, through Parliament Square towards Sulby Bridge,
and chased hard. At first he had Paul Curphey and Brian
Osbourne breathing down his neck but Brian dropped Paul
and eventually daylight grew between Peter and Brian.
Peter Hughes starts to pull away
from Paul Curphey and Brian Osbourne.
A second four way battle developed between Mike Garrett,
Paul Trees, Terry Bates and Paul Cubbon. Alan Poslethewaite
was an isolated 9th in the first 4 miles with Nigel
Sinclair and Martin Bell next on the road.
Mike Garrett (56), leads Paul Cubbon
(61), Terry Bates and Paul Trees (hidden). Alan Poslethwaite
is in the distance.
By the feeding station just beyond the old Sulby
Bridge Railway Station, Peter was on Bernie’s shoulder.
But that was as close as it got. For the rest of the
race it was sometimes 20 metres, sometimes 50 metres but Peter
could not bridge the gap again.
As close as they got. It looked
at the four mile point as if Peter would pass Bernie
but it never happened. Did Northern AC impose team orders
He chased him to St Judes and along the Jurby Road
to the outskirts of Ramsey then out to the Grand Island
Hotel, along Ramsey Promenade and into Mooragh Park.
The finish was just inside the park, almost back at
Meanwhile Brian and Paul remained close behind without
ever causing a serious threat. But Brian missed the
turn into the park and emerged at the finish in the
wrong direction just after Paul had finished.
The organisers and Paul Curphey generously allowed
Brian to be classified ten seconds ahead of Paul, even
though he could clearly have been disqualified
for not running the exact course. Although I feel sorry
for Brian, there could be absolutely no blame attached
to Northern AC who had two signs at the turn. Brian,
although he asked several people before the start of
the race and misunderstood the instructions, could easily
have jogged around the final part of the course as part
of his warmup as he was clearly worried about the finish.
You could forgive Brian for not
seeing this sign but not the one at the end.
Back to the second battle, for fifth place. Mike
Garrett, who was determined not to start too fast as
he had done in the Peel to Douglas, twice established
a lead from the group but a each time Terry Bates came
back to him. Paul Trees dropped off however and he was
eventually passed by Alan Postlethwaite for 8th place.
Paul Cubbon found himself isolated in 7th and eventually
Mike made his move on Terry for 5th.
Mike dropped Terry soon after this
I’ve never seen someone stop and take as much water
on board in a 10 mile race as Nigel Sinclair did but
despite a consequential pit stop he held on to 10th
Nigel Sinclair – over hydrated!
As expected Northern AC organised the race well on
the day and maintained the very high standard of marshalling
recently established in local races.
Given the strong winds and heavy showers, I thought
the times were fairly good if unspectacular. Its good
to see Bernie slowly coming back to his best and Peter
Hughes gets better with every race. Provided he limits
himself to one more marathon this year, it could be
an extremely good one and a sub 2.45 is well on the
cards. Paul Curphey last competed in the event 10 years
The only woman to run was visiting athlete Barbara
Allen from Northern Ireland.