This past Saturday I once again ventured over to Bakewell to do my only parkrun of July. All week I had been looking at going over to Heslington again after posting a 17:09 there at the end of June. However after weeks of no wind and hot weather, the forecast meant there was no point in setting off at 7am on a Saturday morning when chances of a decent time will be controlled by the wind factor. Having raced midweek and not done anything the previous weekend I had the racing itch, so we looked at options. Locally at the moment is a no go area, Rother Valley is a slower York and I’m not a fan of other local parkruns. I considered Stretford but not raced well there since back end of 2016 when I posted a 17:09. I’ve had trips, chest infections and sent the wrong way and had to run the entire course avoiding 400+ runners coming the opposite way.
So after speaking to the boss, I opted to go to Bakewell. I’ve run there twice this year. Firstly way back in January when I was injured and scraped to 18:15 and finished 3rd. I then went back in June and ran 17:34 to again finish 3rd. This was my fastest parkrun of the year, both times I had done Bakewell, I had finished 3rd overall and 1st in my age category plus my good friends the Brooms ran it. This time however they were some where in Wales. We arrived early enough to see volunteers getting the course set up, the girls paid a trip to the toilet while we waited for the start. Silly me though had left my phone at home, so no photos which was probably a good thing as due to the forecast of rain and wind I opted to not put the Mohican up.
Despite the windy start to the day I opted for my vest/split short combo and glad I did as running in my parkrun t-shirt would have been too much. After usual announcements I was on the front line determined to have a fast first mile. (my strategy was hard first mile, hold it together till turn around point and then give it everything on the way down). It seems every Bakewell there is loads of tourists so I didn’t recognise any of the front runners so I couldn’t rely on knowing where they should be in relation to me. So off we set and I soon shot off with a few other runners keeping up. After the mad dash up to the bridge, things settled down and I soon found myself way out in front I felt good going out and the nature of the route meant the wind didn’t effect my pace. I kept the pace hard and knew others would likely pass me later in the day. I hit the first mile in 5:13. I couldn’t hear anyone round me. Which felt good.
Having gained knowledge of the route I opted now to not blow up so eased back slightly this meant the lads behind were slowly closing me down. I hit halfway still in the lead but had two others closing me down. I could then see the rest of the field as I headed back down the trail. I did manage to run my fastest 2nd mile with a 5:38 but the lad behind had already halved my lead. The fear of getting caught meant I was giving it everything coming down the trail but despite me running again my fastest 3rd mile at around 4k I was caught and I did respond and fought hard to retake lead but in the end he proved too strong in the end he put 10s on me in the final K. However because I was chasing him all the way I ended up running my fastest ever 5k distance and I had dipped under 17 minutes. I got 16:57 on my watch but it wasn’t until the following day I had it confirmed due the barcode scanner not liking my wristband, it was a nervous time and I kept it quiet till the day when it was made official.
Now I just need to prove it was a fluke and do it on a regular basis both on the road and at parkrun.