But yesterday's SALE 5 miler is familiar and so it was possible over the weekend to think through prerace warm up and how to run the race itself as aspects could be fairly predictable. The event, promoted by Sale H. and ably organized by Dave Rogers and his loyal helpers, many old teammates from the 1960s, was the second of 5 in the Manchester Parks Race Series. It would be my 4th journey through to Manchester in the month of May. A bit of a "binge" of racing, but needs must.
Preparation failure, again!
Through half way the chest becomes looser and with a 6.41 fourth mile I've "ticked off" all on my "wish list" and am rapidly catching one young Sale Harrier who turns out to be the 16 year old son (Ben) of club stalwart BILL FOX. My words of encouragement produce a response and we race almost shoulder to shoulder where the narrow course allows for the last mile.
I have again visualized that on reaching the track I will try to really concentrate on relaxed form for the final clockwise lap and really give it a go against whoever. As we hit the tartan I try to "get the drop" on my young rival and open a gap which I aim to hold to the line.......
and with 50 metres to go I think I can do it but I've played my cards too early.....young Ben decides that having already been beaten by his M55 father that he is not letting a grey haired old wrinkly beat him as well and unleashes his final charge which sees him come flying past.
Compare my flat footed style to his youthful gait. Well done Ben!
So 34.10. Just 6 seconds slower than last year which I'll take given the muddy sections. 82nd of 200. 3rd in M60. Well beaten again by rejuvenated Francis Day of East Cheshire who ran an impressive time of 31.04.
At the sharp end, ANDI JONES (24.36) (in adidas green above) had a good tussle with Leeds City's SIMON DEAKIN (24.38) and team mate, MARTIN GOSTLING third in 24.39. Keeping it in the families, Andi's wife, Sale Harrier, DONNA JONES won in 29.01 with ALEX GOSTLING second in 29.15.
Being a "home fixture" there was a pretty good turnout of members led in by junior CALLUM ROWLINSON (27.28) whose father Gary I have to thank for a great set of photos.