Nice to sit down and get some time on the key board! It's been manic in the FASTRAX production room all week. Never been so busy. Last order going today was 200 vests out to VEGAN RUNNERS in Germany. I thought Germans liked their meat!
The old legs are only just coming around following what was the 3rd race BLACKPOOL race in 3 weeks. the BEAVERBROOKS 10K. This mass participation "Fun Run"event starts at the Hilton hotel on the front and heads down to the Pleasure Beach, where we turn and head back up past the hotel and then turn on the Lower promenade. The way the race pans out very much depends on the prevailing wind direction and strength.
Last Sunday's event was as bad as it gets! Cold , wet and a wind speed of 19 to cope with on the way down for the first 5K. But with over 2300 in the race (unlike the Blue Light 5 with just 90 in it) I was looking forward to sheltering behind some fast young men.
Joining the assembled masses from my "secret" parking place just 30 seconds jog from the start line I slipped back a few rows behind the sub 40 runners and stood shoulder to shoulder with "non club " runners already tuned into their music.
Having run 43.48 the previous week inland around Stanley Park, to be honest I couldn't see me breaking 44 given the strong wind. But the sheer number of surrounding runners did provide shelter and ensured that the pace never dropped. Plenty of encouragement on the way down from early Sunday morning promenaders against a background of bingo callers and music from the arcades on the Golden Mile.
Unlike the mile marked Fylde Coast Running event this chip timed BEAVERBROOKS 10K 2013 is kilometer marked but judging by the splits the markers seem a bit randomly placed. 4.40 4.17 4.28 4.25 3.56(?). I look across to the faster runners who have already turned back and
I'm pleased to see that track partner GRAHAM CUNLIFFE (Wesham, pictured here is running well, on the way to sub 40. the first for some time. The track sessions and increased mileage paying off,perhaps?)
What a relief as WE reach the turning point and head back northwards. A good group has formed and we're working well overtaking slowing runners but the 6th K shows as 4.43. Averaged out by the next in 4.05! We're benefiting now from the cross wind but it's bringing in the rain ; not bad for us but getting unpleasant for fancy dressed "fun runners". At 7K I spot a group of young men I was stood with at the start ...on their way down at 4K. Hope they prepare better for their "A" levels!
It's back up the hill, past the METROPOLE Hotel ,back up to and beyond the HILTON HOTEL.
The weather continues to deteriorate the cheers from
the waiting supporters is really welcome. With a quarter of a mile to go, we turn onto the lower walk and the force of the late morning wind hits us again.
The gantry above the finish line ahead carries the timing clock and to my amazement it's only just turning 42 minutes. As I cross the line it's showing 42.35 in line with my watch.
With another medal for the collection in the pocket I look back at the splits and see the last 2 K have been clocked in a rather swift 3.45 and 3.48. How have I been able to turn the clock back 10 years and regained the ability to race at 38 minute 10K pace! Amazing....or was the distance a tad short?
The latter being more likely.
General opinion from those who employed GPS was that it was .1 mile short. 6.1 instead of 6.2. So in my case perhaps 40 seconds short. Disappointing given that the race was chip timed for the first time. (The chip being attached to the back of the number) But still it was a great race to compete in. I enjoy the cut and thrust with the young guns. Several thanked me afterwards for keeping THEM going. It should be the other way around, shouldn't it. It should be me being urged to hang on to them!
Even 40 seconds added to the offcial time of 42.35 means I can count it as my 140th under 44 minutes.The 151st in total.
As it's a "Fun Run" the results are published by age group. I'm in the over 55s where I finished 9th; not bad for 64,I suppose.
128th of the 2300 who "ran".
Wearing our FASTRAX Elite vest STUART ROBINSON won the event in an official time of 31.39. Racing largely unchallenged. A fine time in the conditions. He will have taken all the force of the wind heading south; with no one to shelter behind as I had to some extent.
So my 3 races in 3 weeks completed relatively succesfully, but the legs have taken a bit of a battering, particularly the hamstrings. There will be no racing for me this weekend but I'll be seeking out more 10Kas soon to work towards that 150 SUB44 target.