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North of Eng Div 4EC Meet #2

After the success of my current clubs performance at the North of England track and field meet, I had high expectations for the second one. However it was a real let down! this time round I struggled to get a decent team out and certain events had no one competing or only one competitor. This meant we started the day with one hand tied round our backs before we even competed. I was very proud of those who turned out, there was 7 new records set and 10 previous records broken. However, my feelings about the club and members at the moment is at rock bottom, which isn’t good but will leave it there for now.

At the start of the year the amount of people up for doing an event meant some people would have struggled to get on the team and in a perfect world everyone would do just one event. My personal hopes would be to do just one event per meet. Last time out I doubled up on the 800m and 1500m as I moved aside in my preferred event to accommodate others, plus ended up doing 400m relay at the end. This time round I planned on doing just the 5000m but ended up having to do the 800m again!

I felt good after a very strong track session Thursday night and I set my stall out to improve on my track personal bests at both distances. I knew I had 3 hours between events so knew recovery was vital. After having to help officiate the female long jump, I had the 800m at 1:35. By then the wind had gotten stronger and was blowing over the main stand. In terms of where you felt it on the track is was from the 150m mark all the way up the home straight. After being called up, I was placed in lane 2. Aim was to go hard. On the gun I was off but still slow off the mark and after running the top bend the lead two by time we could all move into the inside lane had put 30m between themselves and me.

I made it a point of not letting that gap get any wider, the wind cost me seconds on the first lap, going through in 68s, need to look at running first lap in around 65 or lower if I’m to get my time closer to what I want. I was eyeballs out and determined not to get caught. At the bell I dug deep and the last 200m hurt. I finished 3rd and my throat burned from the lactate acid, I had given it all to clock 2:19.4 a new PB by 2.8s and reckon I can get it down further if  (a) I get a better start and (b) I have people to race with as I basically ran 700m on my own not ideal in a 800m race!

So after a few hours break at just after 4pm it was time for the 5000m race. I had managed to get some protein in me but forgot to put my compression socks on to help my calves. I decided to run in my racing flats rather then spikes for this race. 12 and a half laps on a track is still very much an unknown having only done it once. By now the weather had deteriorated with wind moving in, so you got it from 300m and it had begun to rain. I spoke to JB who is like a clock when it comes to pacing and instead of doing my usual bull in a china shop routine by going off hard and holding on for dear life, I opted to hold back at first and settle in to a controlled pace from the off.

Within a lap there was a break of 4 in front I held back going through first lap in 81s, I soon had a rhythm going as my next 3 400m splits were: 83s, 83s and 83s. With first mile in approx 5:32 (I say approx as watch did not like laps of track and only had me running 2.9 miles so mile splits and avg pace on watch was way out). On second lap I dropped pace and also dropped a position. I managed to hold him off for a lap but the Worksop lad kept at me and managed to pull away (he’d go on to clock a 17:22). I was chasing him and a Cleethorpes runner, with my next 4 splits coming in at 84s, 85,85 and 86. This was my slowest mile and then I picked it up in last mile as I lapped runners and really digging deep. Clocking a strong finish to come home in 5th place overall in 17:37.5 a new track 5000m PB by nearly 6s. First time in months I felt like I had raced well at this distance and I think racing on the track is giving me a stronger mental mindset as there is large parts where it’s just you and the clock. You learn to race hard, where in a road race usually you’ve got others round you to work off. If I can keep heading in right direction I do feel I’m on the crest of something special.

However, I had no time to rest as I had to double up and do both 100m and 400m relays within minutes of finishing my 5000m, not ideal and trust me when I say I had nothing left in the tank but, the team dug in deep in both races. However, due to lack of depth, the club could only manage 6th on the day out of 8 teams. I’m missing the next one but hoping I can get a team out again, it’s a real shame as these meets are great team bonding days and excellent races, just a shame club-mates prefer other stuff…………………..

  • 800m – 3rd in 2:19.40
  • 5000m – 5th in 17:35.70

Kit used in race

  • Zeon Race Vest
  • Adidas Responsive 5 inch shorts
  • Adidas Arriba 3 running spikes
  • Adidas Adios 3 racing flats
  • Sockmine lighweight Griplock running socks
  • Garmin 220


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