Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg put aside clandestine negotiations following this week's General Election results , joining war veterans at a service to commemorate the 65th. anniversary of the end of Second World war hostilities........VE day, May 8 1945. A day when the nation celebrated with street parties and "gay abandon" (!) according to the news of the day.....they would have to rephrase that today, wouldn't they?!
I would suggest little celebrating amongst the veterans of the running variety who dominated the ranks of the SALFORD 5K today in the event hosted by Salford Harriers. Coping with the hill up to Heaton Hall between 1K and 2K was bad enough but combine this with the chilling north easterly which has vexed us all week and it meant that the event was endured rather than enjoyed.
With only 100 running it's easy to calculate the percentages of veterans (masters) . 70% of the runners today were over 40. Of the men M40 there were 11, M45-15, M50-7, M55-6, M60-6 and amazingly, 8 over 65! Of the 28 ladies, 17 were over 40. Hardly boding well for the future!
One exception being race winner, Matthew Crehan, seen here (82) stating his intention from the off. Running 16.06 he maintains the family tradition of Sue Crehan and husband Jim.
No surprise that I'm not in the shot. I was left searching for my "mojo" as they sped away. As I reached the cherry blossom tunnel at 1K in 4.06 I'd "allowed" a gap of 20 metres or so to open on a group in front and with the hill to come in the next kilometer I would have all on to reel any of them. Hill work is the one element of training that has not been featuring lately!
Nevertheless, the plan was not to lose any places on the hill and I managed this. But going through 2K in 8.38, the incline and the headwind had resulted in a 4.32 split and continued up before levelling off. Picking a couple off now..3K in
4.23 and at last running freer, starting to flow and feeling good........until
...... I'm passed by a rather distinctive young man....think shoulder length dreadlocks, bob hat and baggy cutoffs!..he leaves me for dead and charges on!
Still I in turn manage to pick another couple off going through in 3.57 and overcome just one more in the last K covered in 3.56.
This shot was taken by Pat at 4.5 K ; the final turn to the finish. You will note the large number of spectators lining the course, jostling for position.
They are playing the game of "spot the young person", bonus marks being awarded for spotting
anyone who is not bald or does not have grey hair.
You will note also the seat is strategically placed....for obviuos reasons!
Please refrain from sending in any comments that I look as if I'm race walking rather than running....
it was a tight bend....honestly.
Results wise.......a better quality field (all that experience, you see!) resulted in a rare position in the lower half of the race, 56th of the 100. Two of the good vets I expected to see on Monday turned up plus another I'd surprisingly never heard of (he won it the M60) and I was forced back to 4th of 6. Timewise, a bit disappointed with 20.54. 4 seconds slower than last year. Though,perhaps not unexpected what with the poor conditions and the 5K just 5 days before.
I talked to the young dreadlocked flyer afterwards. He had no number on. When I asked him where it was, he said it had blown off! How the wind pulled the pins off his t-shirt as well we shall never know. Obviously the 11.30 start had proved too early for him to arrive in good time to enter properly. Youngsters,eh!
So where are all the young men and women? If they aren't running what are they doing in Heaton Park on a Saturday morning..............