Race 1 - Humber Foreshore - 27 March
Not able to run as away with work

Race 2 - North Cave 4 miles - 3 April
I ran my first Champagne league race for 3 years with Julie at marathon pace - which is very slow for this distance race.  However, with only 60 points possible whatever I ran and the Hull Marathon 5 days later, it was more a gentle paced run than a race -so much so we were told off for talking by one spectator!  Time of 29:38, with 60 points.

Race 3 - Beverley Westwood 3.7 miles - 10 April
Still recovering from the Hull Marathon two days earlier, I put a bit of effort into this undulating course all on grass.  It’s actually 3.4 miles as well!  In the final half a mile I went for it, determined to pass a fellow club runner, Pete Watkinson.  Despite my muscles aching, I kept up my pace to finish  in 24:05.  This was 2nd place in the handicap (predicted time 26:05) and earnt me 95 points - my best ever Champagne League result.

Race 4 - Lockington 3.7 miles - 24 April
This time I was recovering from the London Marathon two days earlier, so took a steady pace round, gradually picking up pace.  However, passing fellow club runner, Jody, with half a mile to go, indicated I was slower than of recent (I’d usually pass him sooner) and my time reflected this - a target of 25 minutes I finished in 28:13!

Race 5 - Brantingham Chase 4 miles - 8 May
My 4th race in as many days and it starts with a horrid 1 mile climb before a gentle drop for the rest of the race. I take most the 3 miles to get over the first mile! With a target of 23:45, the excessive racing took it’s toll with a finish time of 25:42, I was slowed as well by a slippery surface playing avoid the puddle and slipping over whilst trying to gain pace - not an ideal combination.

Race 6 - South Dalton 5.1 miles - 22 May
After a promising start to the Champagne League, I seem to have no end of killer targets! Despite running my socks off, I was twenty seconds off my target time to finish in 34:10 - so another standard 60 points.

Race 7 - Kiplingcoates 6 miles - 5 June
This is the first of two staggered races were you start according to your predicted finish, so in theory if we all ran to predicted form we’d finish together.  The route took us on a loop around a short sharp hill from Kiplingcoates old railway station then along to run back on the old railway line - a narrow route to be racing!  I doci-doed with a City of Hull runner whom I finally shock off in the final hundred metres to finish in 39:25  - 10 seconds off my predicted pace.

Race 8 - Wauldby Green 8.4 miles - 19 June
The longest of the race series, this is a reverse handicap, so I had a lengthy wait to start. I had been given 40 mins on the start meaning I was expected to run the route in 60 minutes.  In theory for the distance that’s possible, but the course is a hard one with a steep climb at mile 5. Even with the incentive that when I got back I could then go and watch England against Ukraine in the football didn’t spur me round any faster and I finished in 62:48 - no extra points again.

Race 9 - Hudson Way 3.8 miles - 3 July
Last time I ran this route it took me 27:14 having arrived 8 mins late to start! I arrived in time (just) this time round and despite having just driven in from Birmingham had a phenomenal run to get round in 24:40, despite the muddy path in places being a hindrance.  I had my highest finish of 16th (on time), 13th in the handicap, being 4 seconds ahead of my target - earning me 90 points for the race!

Race 10 - Lockington 4.3 miles - 17 July
Final run of the series and a time of 26:35, 8 seconds off my target.  A good finish, only a few days after the backwards 10K.  
The Champagne League is open to seven running clubs in and around Kingston Upon Hull. Up to 180 individuals enter. Each race, accept the first and presuming you ran the previous race, gives you a handicap time. You then earn points depending on your result against the handicap and your overall finish. I am also in a team with Julie Donald and Lucy Stamford
Champagne League 2012

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