Some results eventually appeared on the web for last Sunday's BMAF 5K champs. Not surprisingly a document littered with errors and even lacking a heading stating the title of the race. It confirmed nevertheless that my below par performance was indeed my slowest competitive 5K ever but then again I've never been as old as this before.
Others however defied their aging. M65 winner, Martin Ford (327 Cheltenham Harriers) ran 18.34 only 1 minute and 9 seconds slower than his time in 1999 when I ran this event last. That year as a M50 I ran 17.19; picking up gold with Neil Robson and Les Haynes for Bingley. 2010 saw me running 3:48 slower. Others who ran that 1999 race in Annan also ran 3:24 and 3:48 minutes slower. It's amazing how some retain their speed with age, but of course they are the ones now picking up the medals. Needless to say, many top runners from the '80s and '90s aren't competing at all.
Fred Gibbs of Bingley won the M70 category with 20:07; again another great performance. Another seemingly ignoring the date on his birth certificate. Fred and clubmate John Smethurst should have added the M70 team medals to their collection but their 3rd counter pulled a hamstring the previous Tuesday night doing a trail race (failure to focus?) leaving the door open for my club Sale H. We fielded 4 M70 runners more than in any other age group!?
Anyway, with another "back on the horse" race on Sunday it called for an easy few days this week. No track session and nothing too lengthy. Just as well with high temperatures, a list of gardening tasks and preview meetings. This is the time of year when the running shoe and clothing suppliers roll up to show the retail side the gear that you runners will be offered next Spring/Summer which for them starts in January.
Basically they show, we speculate with orders, they arrange manufacture and deliver. Think our side is the riskier, wouldn't you say?
Problem for them is that they will have fixed their "suggested" retail prices for 2011 already and now the VAT will be going up from Jan 4. Problems! Put simply a shoe with an SRP of £100 should be on sale from January 4th at £102.14. So if the shoe is to be kept at £100 who takes the loss.....the supplier or the retailer?
It's hard to see how this VAT rise will benefit suppliers or retailers in 2011 in any sphere of trading. More so of course on high end purchases where 2.5% is much more significant than a couple of £s on a pair of running shoes.