Tuesday, 3 May 2011


  I call the Open Athletics ALEXANDRA  PARK 5K the 'civilised 5K park run' because unlike 5K events held as part of the now national "ParkRun" scheme,  which tend to start at 9.00 a.m., this one starts at  the more leisurely time of 11.30 a.m.  A time which even makes our 75 minute journey no problem.   It's held monthly and costs £2/£3 to enter as opposed to
weekly free Parkruns.  Numbers have reduced as the competing Parkruns have become more popular but 74 participants was sufficient to provide competition from front to back.
My next race the GREAT MANCHESTER 10K  will have slightly  more in it. 37,999 to be precise now that PAULA RADCLIFFE has withdrawn, sore throat and chest infection reportedly or has she learnt that I'll be turning out again?
 At the sharp end  at the Alexandra Park race  was Sale club mate DAVID HOWLETT  flashing around in a solid and relatively unopposed 16.48.   Regular participant ARTHUR WALSHAM of Salford  who can boast countless veterans medals nationally and internationally and a marathon best of 2:21  blessed us with his presence. Approaching 81 he ran 36.29 with 2 young ladies behind.
 Neatly postioned between Good Friday's Salford 10K and that  Great Manchester 10K , Sunday's race  was chosen to serve  essentially as a tune up/build up race.  Based on my 42.59, deducting a minute and dividing by 2,  I had in mind a "satisfactory" predictable time of 21:00. But whilst it would be by no  means a "training run"  there  would be no taper for this low key race. So perhaps  I was being  optimistic.
 The strong winds which plagued the previous day's 3 Peaks were still in evidence in the Manchester Park but fortunately would only hamper us for  a  stretch on each of the 3 laps.   The midweek track session and subsequent runs had left the hamstrings sore but a good 3 mile warm up  oiled the wheels  and by 11.30 I was "good to go"!
  I planned to just race without worrying about the K spilts. I would just try to ensure that the Garmin, monitoring "  pace per mile, was showing below 7.00 throughout.

  Usual race scenario. I set off as fast  as seems reasonable only to be drowned by a wave of runners; the majority of whom I  would  work like stink to pull back over the second and third lap.   But the hares do provide good incentive and the sub 7 mile splits are achieved with 6.51  6.55 and 6.45 (plus 38 secs)......for a 21.11 clocking.  
  All in all a useful speed exercise and far faster than the alternatives,  slogging around Nelson track  12 and a half times or  hammering down the canal running  solo at what would result in just tempo pace.
  74 in the field and I finished 3rd M60.  I'll be aiming to repeat that position a week on Sunday in that field of 38000  mainly because most local M60 "stars" won't pay the entry fee;  ten times the cost this low key race.
  Do you think they will use the money saved on Paula's non-appearance to reward the leading veterans?  Now that would be novel , wouldn't it?



  1. Sounds like you're pretty fit and had a useful workout prior to Manchester. Good to hear my old friend Arthur Walsham is still churning out the miles. I was once talking to him after a 10 mile race at Clitheroe where I'd beaten Gerry Spink. Gerry was making the excuse he'd lost time due to an urgent pit stop. Arthur replied "You should have yelled out Gerry, we'd have stopped the race till you'd finished".

  2. I know that you've been doing this running for a while Terry :) but it still leaves me in awe how you run sub 7 minute miles. My all out effort at the weekend resulting in a an 8:06 mile left me struggling to keep going. Well done and I'll be interested to hear what your training plan is from now 'till Manchester.