For so many years the majority of the races I competed in were those which we had arranged with the race organiser to take the van to and sell our wares. In the discussions I would generally ask him to reserve a number for me. It was very rare that Ihad to actually send a postal entry. So that's my excuse for not framing myself as well as I should nowadays and entering races before they fill up.
The last week was essentially constructed with the thought to run a 5K over in York on Tuesday night. Quite attractive as they are having 2 5k races and the "B" race is for over 60s and slower runners. It would have been a good chance to compete at the sharp end again.
However, late on Saturday evening I saw that the online entries had closed and decided not to risk not being able to enter on the night. So despite having run a 7 on Friday and a 7 yesterday, not my usual ease down, Pat and I headed west once more into the Red Rose county for the CHERNOBYL 1OK in Preston.
I anticipated a fairly low key event based mainly on traffic free country park paths near the River Ribble and that essentially was what we were delivered. except the convoluted course threw up several testing short climbs which served to blunt the pace.
211 supported the race and hence the charity. I fought my way through as usual, overtaking to reach 53rd place and secured another M60 category win (another bottle of wine for Pat)
But with the cream of the regions veterans competing in the Northern Vets 10K up the road in Blackpool I am not flattering myself. Evan Cook won the Northern Vets M60 in 38 plus!
Considering the inclines and the lack of ease down I was reasonably pleased to record 44.03. Actually faster than the very flat Platt Fields, though that was a hot one! Brings 10K races done to 136.
Surprisingly the race was mile marked rather than K marked and the Garmin came into its own as the 3 mile marker was .45 out of place! My garmin splits being 7.07 7.26 6.50 7.09 6.50 (1.33) indicating that given a flatter faster course a time inside 43 should still be on for this year.
Weight has never been an issue for me. I don't think I have ever been over 10 stone in my life. So it was interesting to share the 2 mile ease down after the race with SAM TULLY , a young man from North Wales, he was telling me how he has seen the light in that he had stopped excessive drinking, taken to running and reduced in weight from 16 stone to 11 and a half. It transpired I was in front of him the Manchester but he was just in front today. I'll be looking out for him at futrue races but no doubt there will be even less of him to find. Well done, Sam.
So in conclusion I need to frame myself to organise a programme of events for the rest of the year to try to match last year's times over distance up to half marathon and have the confidence to know that I will actually be fit enough to race then when the time comes. Could take some travelling.....probably going west again!