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Manchester Mile

Wednesday night was my first race after yet another bout of illness. Again it was another chest infection I picked up after the North of England meet at Grantham, I over did it that day with 4 events in the afternoon. I managed to continue running but just dropped all speed work and also made sure to take some extra rest days. I came off the antibiotics on the Sunday, the doctor told me it could take 3 or 4 weeks to fully get over it. I was going into the race with lofty ambitions.

The mile is a race I only usually manage once a year but I want to get that official sub 5 minute mile. I’ve done it in training but for me if it’s not done in a race it does not count! I set my PB last September at Doncaster clocking 5:08.50. This time the race was over in Manchester at Sports City and boy what a venue that place is, Wednesday was another super hot day with it still 28’C when it came around to my race at 8:35pm I was in the 7th heat out of 8 but I was not disappointed to be in the B race as meant I should be grouped with similar paced runners.

After warming up with Molly who put me through my paces, it was time to line up. My plan was to aim for 5:00 mile, I had spoken to John Broom about my pacing strategy and he agreed it looked good. The plan was to do the first lap in 78s the second in 2:30, lap 3 in 3:45 and then give it my all on the last lap.

The gun went and usually I’m off like a bull in a china shop, this time I ended up at the back and I had to work hard around the outside to get into the main group. There was a pack of around 8 runners all bunched up and I could not get into the first lane. I could have pushed on and dropped in front of them and maybe I would have gone quicker or at the same time I could have blown up. Instead I sat with the group and came through the first lap with 77s on the board.

The second lap was a case of keeping concentration. The group stayed together except the winner who had pulled away to give himself a 50m gap, as we came round onto the home straight the pack started to stretch out and I clocked 2:33 for lap two, so was 3s down on my split target, the next two hundred was similar but then with 600m to go it seemed everyone made a move and I found myself in the chasing pack as others broke away. I came though lap 3 in 3:51 so again was down by 6s on my target split but I had a solid final lap and gave it everything on last 200 to come home in 5:06.68.

This gave me 7th place but more importantly gave me a new PB by nearly 2s, which at a mile is a massive chunk of time. I know given a cooler night and more speed work I can lower that time. My aim is to have another crack later in the year. I was over the moon with my time and really gave it everything as my legs knew the next morning.

This was also the debut of the new racing kit that Zeon Teamwear had done me, the new lightweight vest and shorts felt great and light. Not a bad way to debut a new kit then with a PB.

  • 7th in 5:06.68

Kit used in race

  • Zeon Lightweight Race Vest
  • Zeon 6 inch Racing Shorts
  • Adidas Arriba 3 running spikes
  • Sockmine lighweight Griplock running socks
  • Garmin 220


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