Monday, 25 July 2011
ELSWICK EXPRESS 10 MILE ROAD RACE.....a rare category win
Of course relatively few competitors has certain advantage. No parking problems, ( if you arrive early enough), no toilet queues, no queues to enter on the day and over the start line within seconds.
In all these respects then the Fylde Coast race would fit the "low key" bill. But one big disadvantage can be the lack of a group to run with and large gaps between runners.
The venue was easy to find just minutes off the M55 to Blackpool road. The virtually flat course, on relatively "quiet" country lanes, was well marshalled; preventing runners cutting the corners which can course problems from cars for following runners.
The event went much to expectation. Another case of catch them if I can!
Having opted for my white mesh 2nd change strip as the morning temperature increased I set off aiming for splits as near to 7 minute per mile as possible but I could feel discomfort in the right hamstring almost immediately and eased back a touch.
The field quickly spread and after just 2 miles I was isolated. But I could see 11 in front and hoped that if I could just maintain the pace, recent races would suggest the younger, initially faster runners would start to wilt in the warm conditions and come back to me one by one. I say me but I was not alone on this overtaking mission.
Another mature gentleman" had exactly the same plan. He would over take, I would overtake. But try as I might I just couldn't get to him. Fortunately, Cliff Utting (Red Rose) was an M55 and so I managed to work through to win the M60 category.
7.09 7.06 7.14 7.11 7.06 7.05 7.05 7.01 7.04 6.46............70.52 on the Garmin.
However, I was still 42 seconds from the line (!) and so official time was down as 71.34 (52 of 130)
Other garmin users said they were showing over 10 miles but race measurer, Brian Porter, assured us that it was "spot on".
I hope this event continues to grow. It can certainly take up to 200. The route is not totally flat but the inclines are not really challenging. We did have to cope with a cool westerly from midway but that's too be expected on the Fylde coast.
See you there next year?