Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Sale 5K....a professional performance?

  For a lot of new runners the 5K distance is possibly the one they compete in most regularly with the growing popularity of weekly Parkruns , the Race For Life events and so on.   But for old vets like me my total of 5Ks at 25 is a long way short of 10Ks, 10 milers and halves at over 100 for each of the longer distances.    In fact I've run more marathons, 26.   At one time ,5Ks mainly made up part of the programme at track meets. 
  It's the shortest most of us compete, I would imagine and as an "eye balls out", gun to tape event is the most intense. It demands our fastest race pace but brings benefits aerobically and  I think those who do dismiss the 5K as "not worth travelling to" perhaps don't appreciate the benefits.

  Yesterday's Bank Holiday Monday 5K, hosted by my own club Sale Harriers, required only an hour's journey and with the 11.15 a.m. start there was plenty of time to cover the whole circuit  for the warm up by myself.   But returning to the track for the start, inevitably I became involved with others and failed to complete the strides and stretching I normally do before track sessions.  Lesson?  Plenty of time for chat afterwards!
  Only 117 assembled on the track for the start and as expected it was an all out charge for the first 300 to emerge through the track gates. 

Going through the first 1K at 4.10 all my "markers"  were already in front.  2 young female club mates going well and at least one M60.   Action required!   A slight shift in pace and before long I was past them.   Job done?  No,  several others were now starting to falter as we turned into the wind through the middle of the park and they began to suffer following  that over enthusiastic first K. 
  Little time to admire the blossoming trees as I was
desperate to hold onto my position and reel in
a few more.  Reaching the track for the last 300 my mind went back to the 300s of last Thursday and I tried to dig deep to summon up the same pace of that last one.  The effort took me past    club mate, Steve  G.,  who had beaten me at Salford 10K but I couldn't reach Bill F., making a comeback after injury.   As at Salford Cara K. of Sale (pictuired below)
was a few seconds behind again but only a matter of time I feel.......
 The very best local M60s failed to turn up but I had all on to stay in of Neil C. and old friend Mike Dunne who had raced a 5K only 48 hours before.   So a successive M60 first place but I'm just concerned if the prize in the envelope now makes me a professional and I no longer qualify for the Olympics!  Let's just say it covered the entry fee and paid for my lunch afterwards.    It's the first time in nearly 50 years of competition that I've received cash. Can we let it be our secret?

 Time?  Well, I had hoped for something in between my 2008 time of 19.50 and last year's best of 20.35.
So at 20.20, 40th of the 117, I have to be pleased.  However, the course had a dozen 90 degree turns and 2 out and back turns so who knows on a less convoluted course........?  
  The qualifying time for Power Of Ten UK rankings we M60s have to run 20 minutes.  A big ask for us old guys but apparently if "they" relax the standard it means more work for the volunteers who have to deal with the data.

 It was good to run a couple of miles after with Mike D. as we are probably the last 2 of the the 1960s teams still racing as you might expect. I'd like to be able to say neither of us have changed a bit but 'fraid not. We're certainly slower .......but respectably so , I think.

It was good to see Arthur Walsham competing yesterday. 

Arthur of Salford Harriers can boast several World Vets titles including a 2:21.38 marathon clocking.  Now 79 he ran 33.45 yesterday and no doubt will be turning out again in his own club's 5K this Saturday.
and finally.........................
 Photos..........Pat Lonergan


1 comment:

  1. Great race report! 20.20? Very impressive!