Monday, 25 April 2011

SALFORD 10K....if you can't stand the heat....


Good Friday.  A 14th. Easter visit to the City of Salford, Greater Manchester.  Twice in the '60s to run the Salford 7.5 mile road race and a dozen times in later years to run in the metric version , the Salford 10K.   It's certainly not the scenery of Salford's Kersal district which draws mainly club runners to this 2 lap event and the demolition of the Cussons soap factory adjacent to the start did nothing to lift the spirit.
  No, the attraction is the potential for a fast time but unseasonly high temperatures into the '20s were dominating the prerace banter.   However,  if many were fearful of a tough morning's run it wasn't evident by the many dozens who overtook me  and sped away in the first mile.  Most of whom I would see again as they wilted on the second circuit.
 The Blackpool Stanley Park 10K  (43.28) in early March served well as a benchmark for the training in the last 7 weeks and as that period had  gone well  I considered  a time of 43.00 would not be too unreasonable a reward..  Question was could a pace of 4.18 per kilometre be maintained in the adverse conditions.  I couldn't  see any chance of acceleration as in the Blackpool race; today;  it would just be a case of survival and sticking to the task....if possible.

 Taking up a position fairly near the front the first K  it felt as if I was standing still as the wave of runners flooded past but the pace going through IK  was  spot on with 4.17.3.   Followed by 4.16  4.17  4.19 and 4.17......21.29 at 5K......and as expected with  temperatures continung to   rise the less cautious  were  starting to fade and I'm  started to pick faltering runners  off.  
 On the second lap  I was finding the air quality becoming quite problematic but resisted the temptation to use the inhaler and in fact seemed to be coping better than most and continued to pull through with 4.20  4.15 splits to 7K.  Air quality not helped by a strong wind which came up and blew a dust cloud towards us on the back straight. Lovely!   A 4.27 split for that 8th K resulted  somewhat below target pace and would mean no let up over the last 2K.  
  I had to dig deep at this point  but at least I was still overtaking.  I passed one runner clearly on the point of collapse; legs buckling and dangerously swaying into the path of passing cars.  He was  quickly supported and eased towards the finishing line.   A line I cross with  timekeepers calling out......42.59.  One second inside target time.   Survived!  My new  warn weather mesh club vest did the trick.  
 Looking at Pat's race pics  one of the runners with me at the end of the first lap, a seemingly  strong, fit looking  young man,  ran 7 minutes slower on the second finishing in 48.25 and 118 place behind.  It was that kind of day. Some coped. Some didin't.  Perhaps those who are blessed to be able to train in daylight all the year around are more used to the heat, who knows?
  A pleasing time then but only good enough for 5th in the M60 category (of 18)  with 3 M65s also in front to further add to future motivation.   At the sharp end,  fellow Sale member Antony Ford  (one of 17 Sale Harriers who raced) just edged out Matt Pierson Of Holmfirth but failed to break 30 minutes.   The heat meanwhile didn't seem to hamper young Lauren Howarth of Leigh who finished a tremendous 10th overall in 32.33 to win the ladies section.
 So, that was a fairly Good Friday.  A  hot and sticky start to the Easter  holiday break  which  fortunately continued  up in the Lake District  for the rest of the weekend.
        I leave you with  a shot taken above  Lake Windermere  taken towards the setting sun.....

1 comment:

  1. Well done Terry on your target time. It's good to see that your training is paying off. The weather over the weekend was certainly unseasonal with temperatures of 25 deg in North Yorkshire as we had a couple of nice days walking before heading back for the Tulip 10k. Fortunately the temperature on Sunday was slightly down which was further helped by a 10 a.m. start. Thanks for the warm up tip, it certainly helped get the legs and lungs working. Have a good week, John