I talked to one young lady for whom the Ilkley race was her 4th in 5 days. I spoke to a club mate today doing his 3rd race in 4 days. More reasonably, quite a few who raced at Colne on Friday had an easy weekend and turned out again at Sale yesterday. Oh, to be young!
At my age, races take some recovering from and so I was quite content to keep my powder dry for our club race over 5 mile on a dry, flat course; back for a third time this year at Manchester's Wythenshawe Park. The course was as expected; out from the track, Andi Jones seen here leading the way out, into the park, then two loops involving 4 "out and back" hairpins which inevitably detract from the pace and the rhythm.
The race went more or less as expected. Following the initial two laps of the track, half a dozen club mates have accelerated away and have as usual set themselves up as targets for me to go at over the first two miles. At glance at the Garmin after mile shows 6.36.....33 minute pace.....mile 2 in 6.39.....suggesting my pace is more on the money. Still going through as so many slow down, as per usual. Case proved as at the half way point I've broken through. Problem then being that as I pull them along there's a massive gap somehow developed in front of me of about 200 meters. Without an immediate hare to chase the pace slows .....6.49 for the 3rd and 6.48 for the 4th. But the 200 metre gap is being continually eroded and a Swinton runner provides someone to go at over the last mile. Which incidently on the garmin starts .44 of a mile before the 4 mile marker which has "been put out on the wrong side of the road" on an out and back part of the course!!
I do manage to catch the Swinton man and reach the 5 mile point (on the garmin) in 6.29 for 33.23. Trouble is I still have .11 of a mile still to go around the track ! This takes 39 seconds and I finish in 34.04. You can tell from the photo how pleased I am to be able to run the extra distance!All fairly academic for me whether the course was accurate or not as PBs are no longer an issue; but might be for others. But eyebrows were certainly raised about the accuracy of the course when a mile marker is nearly half a mile out of position; and if only something could be done about the out and back loops was a frequent comment afterwards. Another Garmin clocked it at 5.1 but another at 4.99, so who knows? All that said a race is a race and those taking away the excellent cash prizes will have no complaints.
So a very busy Bank Holiday week culminating with a well earnt, superb lunch before making the return journey home.
Time for reflection today on the year so far. 11 races run by end of May compared with 11 by August 18 last year. Time to
ease back? Certainly time to set targets for the second half of the year. Certainly a need to find one or two races which will bring a better reward for the training being put in in terms of finishing times.
So a very busy Bank Holiday weekend culminating with a well earnt, lunch before making the return journey home from the Red Rose to the White Rose county.
Finally, some of the many SALE HARRIERS who supported the club's own event; although we did have to wait until 25th for our first runner in, where were all our "A" team?