I’m a big believer in that if you have a setback the quicker you move on the better. So after Manchester I knew if I was well enough I wanted to race the following Sunday. I’ve always fancied doing this race as it’s a strange distance of 8.74 miles or a third of a marathon. I knew weather permitting I could go out hard and see how long I could hold it. I entered on Tuesday and kept my eye on my heart rate, which by Wednesday morning was back to a resting rate of 35 BPM, so whatever struck me down at Manchester was out of my system. By Wednesday I had also sorted out a replacement marathon in the form of Boston UK. It’s only in the 2nd year and low key but it’s flat so again weather/health depending this will be my 3rd crack at a marathon. After this I plan on taking a few weeks recovery before switching focus to the track season and middle distance racing over the summer.
Wednesday was back into my normal running routine but decided to do a spring clean with my Strava. I found it good to press the reset button, plus made it private so I’m not comparing myself to where I was, or what I’ve done in the past. In some way trying to take the burden and pressure I feel and enjoy my running more. I had a good track session Thursday night, I felt I was capable of running around 50 minutes on Sunday. however we got a freak heatwave and this meant come race time it was all ready 16’C and it was hot in the midday sun and only got hotter. After bumping into club mates, my goal was simple go hard and see how race went.
The start was downhill past the finish line and then out into the countryside. I passed Sarah at the finish line and by this point had slotted into the top 5. One runner decided to out sprint everyone over 400m and then soon as we ran out into the countryside and past the cheering crowds he went backwards. Then it was the lead two battling some 100m in front and me battling a Hull runner for 3rd place. The first mile was fast clocking 5:30. I felt good and helped tussling with the Hull runner, we then ran on quiet country lanes, it was open countryside and there was no hiding from the sun. At first it didn’t bother me as I simply raced to feel and the 3rd place changed hands on more then a dozen occasions.
The second mile had a slight incline towards back in bringing the average pace for that mile to 5:42. Still feeling good and had moved ahead into 3rd place but only just. The route took us towards Sigglesthorne, the heat started to sap my energy and clocked a 5:51. I thought keep the next 4 at this pace and I should hit my target. I had moved back into 4th place as we ran into the village and past the first water point. I grabbed a cup and poured it over my head to cool me off as watch buzzed for mile 4 which felt like a constant steady incline, looking back it was. I hit 5:54 so was still OK at this point.
Then the race started to get lumpy and with the sun what you lost on the climbs you didn’t gain back on the decent. I was still tussling for 3rd place though so wasn’t worried even though my pace had dropped to 6:14 over mile 5 and 6. At next water station I slowed to took some water on and poured some on my head but I just lost all leg speed, it was a case of grinding out next two miles, by now the Hull runner had opened up a gap and I was out on my own, I became focused on just holding the last two miles, and then I could see the finish as I ran down I saw my daughter, a quick check behind me to see if I had anyone chasing me and then we finished holding hands. I secured 4th place in 52:50. Not the time I wanted but in those conditions I was happy, I scored a 0.0 on the Run Britain system which meant I ran the exact time that based on my ability, course and conditions that the algorithms expected. I finished 1:10 behind 3rd place in the end but over 2 mins in front of 5th. I’d like to go back next year and have a crack at sub 50 in cool conditions.
Race finish video, start at 4:29 as you will see myself and Molly finishing
- 4th in 52:50
Kit used in race
- Zeon Running Vest
- ASICS 5inch twin shorts
- ASCIS Gel Hyper Speed 6
- Sockmine Griplock Lightweight Socks
- Pinrace pins
- Naked Runner Ron Hill Classic Black Shades
- Garmin 220