Monday, 28 March 2011

Thirsk 10 - Maybe a lesson in pace judgement?

It was a drive up to Thirsk Sunday for the rescheduled 10 mile road race. Perfect weather conditions also provided a useful wife and kids picnic opportunity. We set off in good time and arrived in Thirsk about an hour before. A quick jog to the well organised entry desk and I was all 'numbered up' in no time.

Thirsk race course provides a perfect venue for the race - with ample car parking, toilet facilities, refreshments and off road areas for warming up. Perhaps the only thing missing would be shower facilities, which I find are most useful when you are spending time after the race shopping and sight see-ing etc.

A quarter mile jog to the start was a useful pre-race warmer. In the line up were a mix of runners, some preparing for Spring marathons, some recovering from injury and others who are just very friendly and seem to be at every race that I do. I noticed Andrew Pearson from Longwood Harriers in the line up along with Spen team mate Kevin Ogden, local runner Gary Dunn, Sarah Jarvis(Bingley), Marc Teasy(Bingley)Marc Hall(Otley), Martin Firth(Queensbury), John Broom(Barnsley), Tim Midgely(Bingley), Mike Burrett(Leeds) and Will Kerr(St Bedes).

The race started steady and even Andrew Pearson didn't bolt off. This allowed for a fair size group to form. Those that I recognized in the group were, Kevin Ogden, Gary Dunn and Marc Hall. After approximately one mile Andrew Pearson opened a gap with Mike Burrett giving chase. I was aware of Gary's injury and wasn't sure whether this was an 'ankle tester' or a serious race for him. Either way I was happy with the pace at that point. Team mate Kevin was slightly in front and we were gaining ground on him. Marc Hall was slightly in front of him and not gaining on us. The group were holding together at 5-25 mileing and I was quite surprised then how easy it felt. I think it was at about the five mile point that the group split up and I was running alongside Kevin after that. The early fast pace was now beginning to tell and after getting to the five mile point in 27-51 the legs were hurting. We then caught up and passed Tim Midgely from Bingley who tore off his number, probably after realising it was an off day and runners were passing him in droves. I think the race turn round point was about 7 miles and that's where Kevin gained the advantage and I didn't have the legs to respond. Closer to the finish Will Kerr charged passed me and I got to the finish in 57-27 - identical time to 2008. A bright T shirt, small trophy and £25 cash. Then a picnic nosh up, a walk round Thirsk town center and a drive up to Ripon. All in all a good day out.

Mile splits; 1= 5-24, 2 = 5-31, 3 = 5-34, 4 = 5-40, 5 = 5-41, 6 = 5-47, 7 = 5-50, 8 = 5-53, 9 = 5-57, 10 = 5-57.

Well done to the wheelchair athletes too.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Nort on for a PB this time.

Cool and perfect running conditions this Sunday saw a good turnout for the annual Norton 9 Mile Road Race. I like doing this one because although it's all on the road it's mainly country roads and very scenic. The only drawback is that it's only 9 mile(as apposed to 10 mile) and not usually recognized on the ranking pages. It reminds me of parts of the Ackworth Half Marathon course or the Askern 10 Mile - both good courses. I wasn't sure what time I was going to get this year. I thought I was probably slightly less fitter than last year - due to the interruptions to the winter training. I have been doing some reasonable long runs at tempo pace(8-10 miles at marathon pace) and I think this as helped my endurance , although still slightly down on the fitness scale compared to last year.

In the line up at the front was Andrew Pearson(Longwood), Pumlani Bangani(Salford), Darren Newbould(Hallamshire) Carl Ryde(Doncaster) . As expected Andrew set off quick and Carl Ryde tried to follow but soon had to ease back. That's the last I saw of those two and it was solo running for me in parts, until I was joined later by Paul Collingwood(Askern) at about 3 miles. A young chap joined us after he fell off the pace from the group in front(about 8 miles). The pace felt good for me and I thought that I would be able to maintain this pace all the way hoping that some of the others runners from the group in front would fade. I was expecting Pumlani to charge past at some stage in the race going by his other results here. This didn't happen and near to the nine mile point I surged forwards and a gap developed between me and Paul Collingwood. My tactic was to try to develop a gap to avoid a very painful sprint finish. This worked out and Paul eventually broke down and drifted backwards. I finished the race in 9th, with a respectable time of 52-18, first V45 - with an average pace of about 5-48 per mile. About a minute down on last year but I enjoyed the run and was well pleased with it.