Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Raindrops keep falling...SALE 5 MILER 2011

 Whilst trying new races each year is great for keeping the running fresh and aiding motivation there is  less chance of "visualization" or mental rehearsal.  Unless of course the  race route has been "reccied" prior to the event. 
  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.
 Plan was to arrive in good time to confirm to Dave R. that I had not broken down on the motorway and that the race prizes were safe and secure in my car.  This would ensure I had time for the now seemingly necessary 3 mile warm up to open the old lungs up and  awaken stiff legs.  But.....chat.....more chat. ....and  time is quickly running out.   I manage 2 miles. More chat and time runs out for the planned strides and stretching.
Preparation failure, again!
 Stepping onto the rain soaked track for the start  I am conscious that the new adidas Tempo shoes are really slippy on the tartan; so caution necessary on the 2 laps of the track. I line up as planned wide left to stay out of trouble.   The rains continues to fall as we exit towards  the centre of Wythenshawe Park.  I'm well down with over 100 in front including several team mates who I have visualised I will try to overtake in the first 2 miles.  Through the puddles and over the short muddy trail  and my targets are lined up in front. First mile marker past in 6.55.  Not great but they are coming back.  Another 6.55 and as  planned I'm going through but it's hard work ; feeling the strain.  6.58 third mile. (?) Thank G. the wind has lessened but it's still affecting the breathing.
  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. 
 he skips through the puddles and opens up a  two metre gap.
 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.


  1. Excellent report Terry. You certainly look in great shape in those photos.

  2. Impressive run from Andi Jones to say he had run the Intercounties Fell Champs at Scotland on Saturday finishing 4th, and winning the team event with the rest of the Greater Manchester bunch- Darren Kay, Danny Hope and Alasdair Murray.