Thursday, 5 May 2011
NATURE CALLS....'86 BRISTOL MARATHON
I chose to avoid the masses and headed into the seclusion of Middleton Woods, within minutes of the hoards but into another world altogether. A world of natural beauty provided by the humble bluebell, so called but quite clearly are more of a lavender shade, which at this time of year provides a spectacular carpet of colour throughout these local woods.
The trek up through the woods was the highlight of Monday's recovery run after the Alex Park 5K. Tuesday it was back to the tarmac with an undulating 8 miler and yesterday it was back on the canal for more speedwork......6 x 1/2 mile. A return to Sunday's 5K pace. The traffic free towpath is dry and fast at the moment so provides a pretty good , time saving alternative to the track and mid week is fairly quiet but overall I think I prefer the safety and accuracy of the track.
1986.......looking back to this week 25 years ago
Ten weeks prior we were in Malta for the Malta Marathon (Feb.16). A frustrating 2:33.52 4th place effort, hampered by strong winds and irritating local cyclists. With 5 races in between, including a half marathon and a 30K (1:43.17, 2:25.20 pace) it was time for another weekend away for another 26.2 mile adventure. This time jouneying down to stay in Bath to compete in the BRISTOL MARATHON. As I would know no one in the race I had no idea how it would go in terms of position and judging by the terrain it wasn't going to be flat . But based on that Anglesey 30K a sub 2:30 looked like a logical target. I had to be positive.
By the end of Saturday night I was feeling anything but positive, however. We had gone down to the west country with friends and I recall sitting in a pub at 7 p.m. thinking that the food was fine and we should stay. But, no, it was decided that we should go into Bath and find somewhere "nicer". So we walked, and walked, and walked and walked. No where seemed to be just right. Meanwhile I was becoming more and more irritable as my pre-race meal was not happening! Finally, around 10 p.m. we sat down and ate. The red wine was good, I recall.
The race started on the Downs and I positioned myself on the front line ready to give it a go from the off. The gun went and a runner "shot out of the blocks" as if doing 100 metres. His running style however would hardly win any style marks but I immeditaely recognised it. Maurice Cowman, of Westbury Harriers, turned and said something along the lines of, "There's always one nutter going for glory, isn't there?"
I replied , "that's no nutter, that's Trevor Hawes and we won't be seeing much of him this morning!" I was right. Hawes ran away and never came back, winning in 2:22.35. Cowman had a go for him though and actually caught him at 14 miles before he pulled away again. Cowman recorded 2:23.43 for second. I pulled through as usual for 3rd in 2:28.25 passing veteran Ron Pannell who ran 2:29.35 at the age of 49. It had been another solo experience though, much the same as Malta.
For my efforts I won a "ghetto blaster" which I spotted in a local eletrical shop the following morning priced at £105. Probably the highest value price I ever won.