I never sleep well after a race. Especially when the race has been an evening one ; this one starting at 6.30 p.m. from Lancaster A.C.'s H.Q. at Salt Ayre.
I lay thinking about the first two miles run on Saturday night. Two miles matching strides , running shoulder to shoulder with MARTYN BELL of HORWICH; him telling me about his comback after several years away from the sport as "life" took over. Me telling him about a memorable 4th at his local Rivington Pike Fell race as a fresh faced youngster.
I asked him what he was hoping for tonight. ; he said something beginnng a 15. I said I'd be "going through" in about 15 minutes as well; except whilst he would be finishing I'd still have 1.5 K to go!
Anyway enough about the warm up what about the actual race?
I lay thinking that it was sad that with a constant drizzle and a temperature barely reaching double figures it had been a bit of a miserable, disappointing evening. The block of training had gone quite well since the July 28 race at the same venue and as I was hoping for a little improvement on that race 3 in the series. A race for which the wind had taken the edge off all our times.
There were no queues for late entry numbers despite arriving just 55 minutes before the race start and when I was issued with number 30 I anticipated that there might well be big gaps in the field in a small field. This could well be a test of resolve if I become isolated. 62 eventually toed the line at the start on the Salt Ayre track.
I lay thinking then that it was no surprise the way the race went. Detached well before the mile mark and under no threat from anyone behind. The out and back second mile provides a good chance to spectate;seeing who is in front and how they are going.
IAIN QUINN of Barrow is well clear and goes on to win unthreatened in 15:26. Martyn Bell is going well and finishes 3rd overall, 1st M40 in 15:49.
I lay thinking that her time would have been good enough for silver in the North of England 5K champs at the last Sale H. Sizzlers. ANNA LUPTON, also well known for her trail performances, finished 2nd in 17:25.
Mile splits were indicating that once again I was going to be hard pressed to break 21 minutes but at least as last time there were runners to haul back in over the last mile. LIZ TOMES of Keighley was running strongly but drifting back gradually. I managed to catch her just before re-entering the track and nudged past one more runner with a frantic last lap effort but it wasn't just good enough. I watched as the clock turned to 21....21.02.
No improvement. 3 seconds down.
Without too much delay I went inside to put on a jacket for the cool down. I was surprised to see that someone was already showering. He came out and told me that he already run a 3000 metres and a 1500 metres on the track that very afternoon. Eyebrows raised!
But to add insult to injury I learnt that GRAHAM WEBSTER of Lytham was in my age group, having turned 60 in April, and had that he had thrashed me by well over 2 minutes!!
I lay thinking that I need to be racing more!. He has already listed 30 plus races this year from 800 metres to half marathon. Very versatile indeed.
Needless to say I didn't stay for the presentation or the post race barbecue which was a shame. As the rain continued to fall it was a night for heading off home and getting warm.
Another fine English summer night! Not!