Tuesday, 31 July 2012


 As we were up in the Lake District for a long weekend once more, we decided to nip down to Lancaster and sample the July LANCASTER 5K.  The 3rd of 5 in a 5K series hosted by Lancaster & Morecambe A.C. from their base at Salt Ayre track.
 Unlike so many parkrun addicts this would only be my 2nd 5K of the year. My only other effort over the distance being the Salford 5K (21.32) on a cold, wet night back in April.  Time for improvement?
 Having run a 43.00 10K on Blackpool promenade in May, the formula of deduct a minute and divide by 2 pointed to a 21.00 minute clocking. But of course theory and practice as we know can often be very different depending on the course and conditions.  Easier said than done.
 I anticipated there would be K markers so knew I would need 4.12 splits or 6.46 per mile if not.  Far faster than any of my training times!
 Warming up confirmed that the course would be "flat and fast".  We would start with a loop of the track which would break up the field before exiting onto nearby traffic free tree lined paths.

Unfortunately, for the 91 starters, on Saturday evening we ran into a very strong chilly wind from the 2 mile point to the turn point on the out and back route and consequently after a promising first mile in 6.50, the second mile disappointedly was clocked at 7.06.  It would need a big push to hit the 21.00 mins. target.
 But at this point I'm engaged in a 3 man tussle with unattached runners and with the trees shielding us from the wind we accelerated over the last mile.  As we run back onto the track one has been dropped but the other provides an excellent target for me over the last lap.
 He has several yards lead but when I determine that whatever his age someone wearing INOV8 trail shoes is not going to bet me over 400 metres! Battling to outsprint him takes me under the prerace target time............20.59!
Very satisfying and suggesting that with some decent speed work over the  next few weeks and given a calmer night a time that could be improved upon. But a full 1:23 seconds behind the first M60, Patrick Thomas of Hoad Hill harriers.  No prize on the night!                                                                    
Pat made one of her rare race appearances, pictured here number 30 behind Lancaster runner, Linda Stapleton F65 who she managed to pass to finish in a very creditable 27:45.  First F60 but behind Bentham Beagle's Valerie Harrold  who ran 26:54.
 There were a whole host of fast young guns out on the night with 17 under 17 minutes, the race being won by Danny Parkinson of Kendal in 15:03.  But the run of the evening was that of GEORGE THOMPSON
(Border Harriers) who as an M55 ran  16:02 taking him to first on the UK rankings for this year.
 Kelly Crickmore (Chester Tri) was first lady in 17:25.
  All in all well worth the trip to Lancaster to sample the potentially PB course. My only criticism, which I expressed of course!, was that in 2012 I thought the course would have had K markers which surely making pace targetting so much easier.
 The penultimate 5k will take place on August 25 and the last on September 29.


  1. Was nice talking to you during the cool-down on Saturday. And thanks for pointing me to this great blog. Happy running! Y.

  2. Great to meet you too, Yves. I hope you enjoyed your trip up to the north and you were pleased with the way everything went. Perhaps see you in August or September?! Best wishes. Terry