Sunday, 22 May 2011

SALFORD 5K..well blow me down!

The contrast between today's SALFORD 5K in Heaton Park, Manchester (titled as it was put on by Salford Harriers)  and last week's Gt. MANCHESTER RUN  could hardly have been greater.  Last week starting in several waves throughout the morning almost 38,000  partaking in a fabulous celebration of running over the very manageable 10k distance; led home by arguably one of the greatest distance runners of all time, Halile Gebrselassie.
 Today just 85 toed the line ready to battle with the continuing strong winds sweeping across  the country.  However,  the field did not lack quality as one of Yorkshire's finest, CARL  THACKERY  of Hallamshire Harriers had made the journey across the Pennines.
  For those not aware of some of his feats......46.26 for 10 miles on the road (Brampton to Carlisle) ,  61.04 for Barnsley half marathon  and still UK record holder for one hour covering 20,855 metres.   Now 49 Carl finished second today in 16.40 with 5 M40s occupying the next 5 positions.
  My expectations?  Not great.  Still weary from last week,  the strong winds to cope with, the half mile hill in the second mile,  I was thinking nearer 22 than 21 minutes.

  Trying to keep the first K well below 7 mins pace produced a 4.12 then we turned the corner to face the hill, hitting a wall of wind which saw the speed plummet showing well above 8 mins. Nevertheless I was picking a few off  as we passed Heaton Hall and coping reasonably with a 4.23 but the 3rd K showed at 4.56 !

Despite the course having  levelled off towards the  Commonwealth Games Bowls  Centre shown here. 
  The 4th K in 3.36 proved the inaccuracy of the K marker placings.   A final surge in 4.18 brought me home in 21.40.   Slower than the second half of last week's run.  
  3rd in the age group; beaten by the same guys who beat me in May 1st's Alex Park.  Some consolation  in seeing that they too were well down, one by 54 seconds.  It was hard work for all.
  All the post race banter  echoed that thought but as already stated it was the first race in the Manchester park Series (1/5) and could not be put off whatever the weather.
  Next race ...the SALE 5 MILER.  Wythenshawe Park. Spring Holiday Monday.

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