Another midweek another race. It was back to the Brownlee Center for the 6th race of the series. I had opted to miss last months race as I raced the Manchester Mile instead, so I hadn’t raced here since I ran a course PB and season best back in May. After a few races of improvements, I had a below par performance in my view at the Sale Sizzler. Having tried a new race tactic and it not working, my plan for Leeds was simple go hard and beat my time last time I was here (17:23).
Having baked all day like the rest of the UK, I spent car journey up the M1 trying to stay cool. I took an ice pack and had that on my back and sipped iced water. Even then I was still warm and it was in the late 20’s still come race time. However my thinking is if I can race ok in heat, hopefully come cooler weather my times will tumble. This time out it had attracted a decent field which was good, aiming to get into a pack and hold my own. Race time and I got off to a decent start and worked my way up the field as we headed up hill, it was into the direct sunshine, the first time up does not feel hard. Still it does effect your pace as I hit the top of the hill a group of 4 had already pulled away and then there was a bunch battling it out, it helped as we headed back down under the bridge as I held onto the group. As we round the top bend watch buzzed for 5:18. My fastest mile at this course.
However, I was already feeling the heat as I climbed back up, I passed a few other runners going up and thinking back probably should have sat in as they all came flying past me on the second descent down the hill. I was working my ass off going back down trying to claw back vital seconds; my aim was to run the lower 5:30’s for second lap but the heat was a real noose around my neck. I hit 3k and knew the last mile was going to hurt. I hit 5:38 for mile two. I know I can go faster but by now I was running on my own which on 3rd lap isn’t good. I proper struggled up the final hill. I just could not get the oxygen in my lungs. Problem was it really had taken it out of me as I was unable to get going on the final descent and it cost me. The final few bends I had nothing and got passed before the final turn. Had I realized how close I was maybe I should’ve kicked harder but I felt like I gave it everything as I headed for home and it was agonizing to see the time just slipping away, crossing the line in 17:25. Just 2s off my course PB
I do think York is a faster course and conditions at this race meant it was proper tough as there was just no oxygen in the air. To only be 2s off my course PB in those conditions is not too shabby in my opinion and reckon I can get close to my PB on this course in cooler conditions.