Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Breakdown breakaway!

  Firstly, commiserations if your run today was after a hard day in work and you were drenched.    Still a few more storms like we are experiencing now and who knows we might just avoid that hosepipe ban.
  After two days of easy trail running in which I could feel Sunday's "brisk" second half"  5 of the 10,  I thought it was time for this week's speed session.  Didn't want to leave it until Thursday. Particularly as I've pencilled in a 5 miler near Warrington for Saturday afternoon.   The Burtonwood 5 at 4 p.m.  Unusual time but amounts to a more relaxed Saturday evening and  frees up Sunday.
  I decided on 3 x mile and opted to do the reps on the canal rather than making the longer journey over to the track.   In contrast to tonight's weather it was vest and shorts temperature. Sorry. On the positive side,  running A to B felt "shorter" than 4 track laps but on balance I think I preferred the precision of the track distance.   I used to do miles reps,  up to 6,  on the road but wouldn't risk injury doing that nowadays.  Pleased with times on the reps however, at  just over 7 minutes.
Pat and I worked on 2011 Complete Runner orders after lunch with one eye and ear on Le Tour De France. Some absolutely magnificent scenery (check out Col Du Noyer downhill section) and pictures from the helicopters as a group of 6 broke away with the peloton enjoying what was described as a "recovery" day; up to 12 minutes behind for most of the afternoon.  Today the breakaway worked as 2 were left sprinting for the line in a virtual deadheat.  But very often this tour,  the breakaway has failed; the peloton have bridged the gap and swept by, leaving the sprinters to fight for a glorious stage win.  
  Pat commented that breakaways as in cycling don't tend to happen in our sport.  She's right. A race winner tends generally to come from a group which edges away gradually.  The group breaks down one by one leaving a winner. 
  But one very memorable breakaway which I recall occurred as you might expect in a marathon.  Selby Marathon. 1985. Yes, a low key local race but over a dozen on the start line capable of going under 2.40.  A case of sitting in and patiently breaking down the opposition, surely. 
  Not so!..... for one Rowntrees runner.   He looked at the "peloton" including myself as the 1984 winner and simply  took off.  His breakaway took him further and further away until he was nearly half a mile clear.  Then, according to the report in the local paper...."tragedy" struck....."he hit the dreaded wall"......and "had to be taken by ambulance to the race H.Q. where he recovered."
  The way it was written  was that the rest of us were lucky that we had not hit the wall!  Not that his breakaway was ill advised and wreckless in the extreme;  to the point whereby he was almost hospitalised.
Not that we had all run a more calculated, sensible race resulting in 14 running under 2:40.
 I have written previously how I failed to repeat my win; with club mate Steve O'Callaghan leaving me over the last mile to win in 2:26.59;  despite his having won the Sheffield marathon the previous week! He only told me about this AFTER the race, of course, with a wry smile on his face.  B****r! 
 The 28 year old Rowntrees runner had no regrets about his tactics.  He said he would do "exactly the same
if he was running the race tomorrrow".  He said...."he just ran out of steam" .....saying a bit "more training will help".   Having run 52.16 to my 53.27 on the tough Otley 10 course, only the previous month   I think he was capable of at least finishing with us.  But as can often happen in a marathon, following a good taper,  he had just got carried away, broke away and........ broke down!

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