Saturday, 7 April 2012


Yesterday  marked a return to the Good Friday fixture which was the first Senior road race I ran in at the age of 18 back in 1967. Back then it was called the "Willam Howarth 7.5" mile road race
(or the Salford 7 for short!). The race was won by RON HILL in 35.36.  There were only 100 competitors, all members of local clubs,  with the last runner running 52.36. No women took part.
I ran 30th in 39.55.  DEREK WALTON (Altrincham) also ran yesterday as he did 45 years ago.
We would appear to have been the sole survivors with Stan Curran marshalling.
 I must admit to being pretty apprehensive and a bit negative this  week as the fixture (now the  SALFORD 10K)   approached.   The perceived fragility of the old legs  is a major factor for concern.  The feeling being...... "you never know when the wheels are ready to come off".
 The race would either confirm calf problems or be a welcome boost to the confidence.
 I think it's always very easy for us to say we're not 100% and put off racing but  I thought it was time to grasp the nettle and just determine how fit or relatively unfit I am at present.   Only racing would give me the feedback necessary to go forward.  Solo training times are no real indication.
 Another concern earlier in the week was the weather of course.  But fortunately   Scotland and the North east bore the brunt of the blizzards.   Wharfedale was only affected at high level and so there was no problem getting in 4 easy days of 4,4,3, and 3  miles as I tried to ease up for what ostensibly my first "measured" race of 2012.
 All this considered  the check list of kit had me covering all options.............
  Racing shoes and training shoes (just in case)............I opted for the trainers.
 Socks and support socks (just in case)......................I opted for the support sicks.
 Long sleeve and   short sleeve  (just in case)..............I opted for the short sleeve.
Thermal hat and cap (just in case)..............................I opted for the cap
Sunglasses (just in case).............................................Sadly not needed.
Gloves (just in case)..................................................Not needed by race time.
Support shorts (or shorts (just in case).......................Shorts!
  The sunglasses weren't required;  it was a distinctly cold morning but fortunately devoid of wind. So conditions favourable for once.
  Last year I was quite satisfied to open up with a 43.28 on March 5 at Blackpool 's Stanley Park.  So  given  a year older veteran sages would suggest 30 seconds slower would to be expected.  But in truth  I  just had it in mind to keep every K split around or under 4.30 to give me 44.30 to 45 minutes.  Possibly over cautious?
 With adrenalin levels recording low it was no surprise then to see 4.33 as we passed the opening K marker.
(The race is not chipped, so possibly a touch faster) . A slight pick up then with 4.23 4.27  4.15 and 4.23 as we went through 5K in 22.03  and the first lap flyers are rapidly coming back!
  It's a 2 lap course and with the good chance of a sub 44 time somehow , from somewhere, the adrenalin finally kicked in,  particularly from the 7K mark with  very pleasing final Ks of 4.08  4.16  4.08.  The results
suggest I overtook over 40 runners on the second lap as some I was with at 5K finished over 2 minutes behind.
Conclusion?  I need to inject the adrenalin before the start!  Get up and away a bit better from the gun and again make time for a more thorough warm up!  
My negative splits read well, with  22.03 and 21.26,  but that first 5k needs to be sharper to get back under 43.  In my defence I would say "psyching up" for what was my 140th 10K in a time very near the bottom of 10K times takes some doing!  
 As for many runners around me clearly a lot need  to address the balance between speed work and speed/endurance.  So many running quite clearly running positive splits.
  43.29 which was only good enough for 4th of 19 in the M60 category,  242nd of 533.  The addage of year older 30 seconds slower seemed spot on.  2011 42.59; 2012  43.29 !
 A good quality field as always  was  lead in by JACK MARTIN (29.50) followed by Stockport clubmate ANDY NIXON (30.12). Versatile LIZZIE ADAMS, a frequent winner on XC, fell and trail demonstrated  that top off road runners need good flat speed also with a PB of 32.50.
 So that was the Salford done and dusted for another year.  It's not the most scenic of events  and there's quite a bit of hopping from the road to pavements.  But  the course is as flat as you'll get, parking is good, there's changing/showers. It's finally been K marked after years of "nagging".  Prizes are a bit shallow for vets though; surprising as Salford H is such a strong vets club.  
  So a late start to the 2012 season, quite satisfying but room for improvement!

1 comment:

  1. An excellent race report Terry and a very respectable time. Just goes to show you can still find that enthusiasm for racing and you obviously still have a competitive streak! Well done :)