Saturday 9 p.m. and I still haven't decided what to run tomorrow. No family obligations so I'll definitely do a 10K as planned. The choice? A repeat visit to Blackpool where the season started back in March. A 2 lap very flat tour of Stanley Park. A chance to monitor how my form is compared with 7 months ago. Or a return to nearby Salwick for a familiar undulating course, the LEA TOWN 10K (formerly the Kirkham 10K)
The last time Pat and I were in this part of the Fylde Coast we managed a rare age group double win. Could we repeat the feat today, perhaps?
That question being answered as soon as we turned in to park, seeing leading M60 ALAN HUDSON (Wesham) walking towards us. He tells me he has been injured again. I know he will have benefitted from a break and will be firing on all cylindars again!
As usual I'm one of the last to assemble for the 11 a.m. start which is curiously at least 200 yards further down the lane from where we started this race, memorably the morning Princess Diana died. Interesting to see what the garmin gives us on this mile marked kilometre event (?) ! 2011 ?
Inevitably in events we compete with "significant" others. Runners we generally finish behind or should generally beat. The first mile is often where we take stock. Reaching the marker after the first undulating mile I've only just passed M70 TED ORRELL but JAYNE PERRY (Lancaster & Morecambe) and dad Steve are only just in front and not going away. The garmin gives me 7.00 minutes. Solid but not sparkling. Final results suggest I am well into the 50s position wise.
I catch Steve and Jayne, who has beaten me easily twice in recent weeks.
Do I pass or tuck in behind?
My racing head tells me to pass and continue the chase for the usual string of slowing runners in front. The inclines of the second mile don't help (7.12) but the next 3 are fairly flat and my younger rivals are paying for their imprudent early pace.
The hunt is going well as one by one runners are coming back. Better miles recorded 6.55, 6.57 and 6.43 but I think it's more that I'm maintaining overall pace and effort whilst they are slowing down.
One undulating mile to go and although I catch seasoned F50 Preston Harrier, Philippa Walsh, making a return to 10K racing, this 6th mile is back to 7.03 and I know I'm going to be over 43 minutes yet again. As the results confirm.
43.23 38th of 139 finishers. 2nd M60 as ALAN HUDSON confirms his return to form, beating me by 3 and a half minutes. Perhaps we should have returned to Stanley Park where the flatter course would have undoubtedly given a sub 43 time and a category win.
Jogging back down the course Pat comes into view and I run the last 200 metres with her and see her make a return to 10K racing with 58.01. She is first F60 but F65 CAROL DOUGLAS was 7 mins. in front with a superb 51:00.
LUKE MINNS generally seen running 800/1500 for BLACKPOOL & FYLDE (as pictured above) would appear to have largely unchalleged judging by his 32.49 from ex- Copeland star M40 EDDIE SIMPSON (33.44) now with Dallam Sports.
GEMMA ADAMS (PRESTON HARRIERS) was first lady in 39.46.
Eddie featured on the front cover of ATHLETICS WEEKLY in October 1991 seen running the second leg as his COPELAND team won the Northern 6 stage relay. Still going well!