Of course, a race is only as good as the prevailing weather conditions and as with many events last weekend the strong wind would have to be combatted twice on this 2 lap course.
We swing into the winds blowing across the Cheshire Plains during the second mile bringing with them a rather acrid stench which has each in the group saying...."It's not me! A glance at the garmin at 2 mile shows I'm down with 7.02.
We pass race HQ at the Bridge Inn and head onto a slighter longer second lap. I'm in a small group of 4 and we hit 3 in 6.45 but as I fight on into the wind on mile 4 they fall away. I'm now targeting the lady on my shoulder in the shot of the start, Anne Pugh, a strong F55 from Altrincham less than 100 metres ahead. I pass 4 mile 6.56 and the gap has been bridged.
As I pass her I encourage her to tuck in behind and hold on, as I feel confident of a good last mile. She responds well and I act as her leadout man all the way through to within sight of the line. At which point in true Mark Cavendish style she pulls out and repays my help by trying to rob me of a place!
But I'm not having it and manage to hold her off. There's gratitude for you!
Despite the mile markers being bang in line with the garmin for 4 miles the garmin indicates 5 just before the finsh and so despite a last garmin mile of a very pleasing 6.22 (where did that come from!) for 33.52; the official line is a further 12 seconds on.....so we both timed at 34.04. Couldn't help thinking that the extra was to take the race onto the pub car park. Not surprisingly Anne Pugh won the F55 whilst I was M60 category winner. My entry cost £6....I won £5 back! So a 5 miler at the same pace as my dismal uncomfortable Horwich 5K outing 6.49.
Boston U.S. based Sale Harrier MARTIN TIGHE recovered sufficiently from his M50 win in the Sale H. sizzler 5k less than 48 hours before (17.19) to record another win in 28.49. But as with last Thursday it was another close call as he repeated his one second margin over the second placed M50.
Martin enjoyed much success in his younger days with Sale and showed with a 2:32 marathon only last year that despite being over 50 he is not ready to retire any time yet, as they say. He is Dean at a college in the U.S. and still covering 60/65 miles per week in training. This shot at the 2 mile mark shows him trying to dislodge Blackburn Harrier, John Chaplin.
One reason for choosing this Saturday race was to free up Sunday for a pleasant day in the Lakes but the incessant rain requested by Manchester Corporation to fill their reservoirs and avoid a hosepipe ban, put a "dampener" on the plan and we retreated for home late Sunday afternoon. I ran the last 5 miles home to bring the week's total to a par 46.
Began this week with a return to the usual 2 res run and for once managed to scrape under the hour with 59.55. A good start. No race this weekend, so hoping to get in a good solid few days of training.