Arriving at the track I squeeze into the last space in the car park. I survey the scene. Compression clad sprinters flash past, they glance at each other, holding their breath, pretending the 200 rep. they have just completed has been no effort at all. On the far back straight a group of coached youngsters are being drilled. They lift their knees in exaggerated fashion, their spindly arms swinging pendulum like. A splat on the high jump bed. A thud as a shot strikes the turf. A javelin wings its way through the cloudless sky. Around the top bend a phalanx of middle distance boys streak onto the finishing straight and glide through another 600 rep. A film of perspiration shines on all the fit , healthy athletic bodies. The whole bowl is one vision of fruitful endeavour.
I join my waiting group of wrinkled vets. If lines on faces could write a book, the pages would be many.
Tens of thousands of miles, hundreds of races. As one they lift themslves up. "OK, guys,let's party!" I say.
With a great deal of banter and jibes a plenty we ease into the compulsory 2 mile warm up, readying ourselves for the 4 miles of effort to come on the track. Bronzed legs, bronzed arms, bald heads, grey hair,
our little group snakes its way along the promenade, the intense sun glistening on the ice blue waters of the sea.
I WAKE UP WITH A START and know it can't be ignored. For this rare Saturday I have to work but I will break off early in the morning to that planned track session.
I jogged down to Seedhill track. The car park was empty but for 2 cars, one of them the attendant's. No rain but the wind is very strong. It was forecast to be worse. On the track just 2 runners. One, a veteran sprinter striding 150s. The other a young, powerful looking lad, doing 400 reps; training for tennis, he later tells me. It took me 3 miles before I felt ready to get into the session. It's 11 a.m. now. The track is deserted but for me. I went for 6 x 1k. I had hoped for nothing more than a "good" session bearing in mind the strong winds. But running almost to a standhill at times I could only manage an average of 4.39. A bit disappointing: but at least they did get faster....4.44 4.43 4.43 4.40 4.36 4.30. Hard work!
So only 3 circuited the track this morning. The track is in the middle of Lancashire, one of England's most populated counties. It was Saturday morning. There are 986 days until the Olympics.
Presumably all the Olympic hopefuls belong to my club Sale Harriers and train at Sports City in Manchester!