Road races with few participants ,say less than 100, commonly and correctly described as "small and low key" do have some advantages. Ease of parking, no queues for convenient "on the day entry", which is usually a relatively small fee, no queues for the toilet, no need to sharpen the elbows for the fight for space on the road over the first mile. All well and good.
But many would say, "Yes, and no atmosphere!!" Countless Complete Runner customers tell me that they won't entertain entering any races that don't feature runners numbering tens of thousands and so are happy to pay out over £35 for the Gt Manchester Run, The Great North Run or the London Marathon. Which is fine but I always try to encourage them to learn about support smaller events as well.
Of course, one great disadvanrage of a small field is that very often they can turn out to be virtually time trials; a solo run with no group to share a faster pace, no crusing or surging which form a key to race enjoyment for me.
Last Sunday after the initial half mile push, I was forced to run alone for the remaining 3.5 miles. But just being in the competitive environment justified the effort and travelling to the event and putting the number on the vest.
If I had elected for a 4 x mile track session I would not have achieved 6.59 7.09 6.59 6.52. So even as a speed endurance exercise it was worthwhile; and anyway it was only a small deviation on our way to the Lake District! Besides, Pat will enjoy the wine. Both bottles!
The rest of the week went pretty well. Mindful of the hills of the Boggart H.C. 10k I put in a hill session on the Tuesday. 8 medium length reps which went well with times up the on the previous fortnight. But with a weeknd race that was the only effort session of the week. With no long run either the mileage was consequently slightly below average at 39 miles. Perhaps as well it wasn't a big training week as there was so much to watch of the.....
IAAF WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
the majority of my viewing was via Eurosport UK with former athletes TIM HUTCHINGS and MARTIN GILLINGHAM doing the commentating. They are at home now having a well earnt lie down having had to cope with pronouncing troublesome competitors' names ......