After posting a good time at the Sale Sizzler, I wanted to keep the momentum going, I penciled in the Lancaster 5k on Saturday night, I’ve done it twice and usually two days after Sale, both times I’ve posted a quicker time at Lancaster, in 2015 I did 17:32 at Sale then 17:21 at Lancaster. Last year I did 18:09 at Sale then 17:30 at Lancaster. It is a fast course, this year they’ve changed venue and they reckon it’s quicker. Problem is the distance to get there and fact it’s not till 18:30 on a Saturday night.
However I was suffering from very sore calf’s, so much so it hurt to walk. This was my fault, having wore spikes for my 3000m race then two days later for a track session. The track session was brutal and I had over cooked it. So made decision Saturday not to race and give myself another 24 hours as I knew there were other races. I do plan on hitting Lancaster at some point! I had seen that there was a race north of York and not till 12:00 on Sunday, on the site it was described as flat road chipped time 5k. Perfect I thought a low key race but with potential to post another sub 18 time. So I decided to have a pop at it.
After driving up to the other side of York, we arrived to find the place deserted. This annoyed my wife as no marshals were there to direct cars. The 10k and HM was already taking place. Not that you’d have known. After finding somewhere to park. We made our way to registration, to find no one there? someone on the clothing stall ran off to find someone to sort numbers out. Never witnessed anything like it. Number sorted and a look of concern to wife as it seemed a right poor setup. We walked down to the finish to see a club mate finish the 10k but a serious lack of marshals to direct people, so finishers of 10k were running past and HM runners were getting lost. I witnessed a few runners of the HM ripping numbers off as they had gotten lost due to lack of directions and marshals.
I decided to walk over to the marshal and ask about the 5k route. Bare in mind I was on the top of a hill and could see runners at 2k down the hill running back up to the finish! He said start was at the top and finish was same place as the HM/10k races. Pissed off that it was going to be a killer of a finish, I did a warm up as needed to know what to expect as I came into finish. So ran down hill for a km and then back up. Passing runners of the other races, yet still serious lack of marshals. I worked out I needed to do what I did at Holmfirth and seriously go off hard for first 2k to balance out the final 1k climb.
As race approached I lined up with all the other 5k runners, there wasn’t many runners but I was here for a fast time. Then the race director said right can you make your way down to the cricket pitch! I looked at Sarah and John who had stayed to support me and was like WTF! So we began to walk and in end the start was at the lowest cricket pitch just before the 1k marker for the 10k route. This meant any chance of a quick time was diminishing by the minute. As the downhill start had been taken away!
Well I was here so might as well get on with it, the race director said we could have had a downhill start and finished at cricket pitch. This would have made course seriously quick but he opted for the other option as he didn’t want to move the finish area as only had one for all 3 races. When your racing 5k you don’t want a mile hill climb at the end!
He got in the 4×4 and sounded the air horn and off we went, I was soon chasing the 4×4 with a youngster on my shoulder as we left the abbey. I went hard as knew what was to come, I clocked a good first mile in 5:26 as we ran along the access road, this mile wasn’t flat as we had a slight incline to the first major turn, I followed the car round to the right straight into a head wind but kept at 5:4x/mi pace then the lead car went round a bend and I lost sight as it came back into view it had stopped on a junction. But no direction markers I kept going forward as wasn’t sure where to go? I slowed down, I went past the car and he went ‘no you need to turn down here’. So I lost time as I turned and headed down a direct track. The route was getting more and more off road. He then drove past me as I dodged all the potholes and puddles. He then got out again and pointed right, I turned on to a muddy trail track. I had race flats on and had no grip on the mud so lost some serious time as the off road section lasted a good 1k. The route then turned left and was back on the access road we started on and I put hammer down to claim some time back but the route back was also into a headwind and the climb began and just got steeper and steeper. I was still in the lead and had a large gap and used other runners finishing other races as targets. Soon as I hit the top I cruised over the line for first place.
It was a mixed feeling, I was stoked to have won but pissed at my time, 3rd time I’ve won something at 5k and 3rd time the time has been around 18:30. There was no chip mat at start so the race director asked for my time so told him and they worked it from there. I was given 18:28. The marshal at the end didn’t know I was the winner of the race! so had to ask about prizes etc. Found out I had got a trophy, first the prize presentation was due to be outside then the rain came and we ended up inside. I picked up the trophy and £50 in running gear. So not all bad but as races go it was a bit of a shambles. I will be doing a full race review of it. It’s also frustrating as while will always be happy with a win, I want fast times. The 3rd Sale Sizzler can’t come quick enough for me!
- 1st in 18:28
Kit used in race
- Zeon Lightweight Race Vest
- Zeon 6 inch Racing Shorts
- Nike Zoom 6 Racing Flats
- Naked Runner Classic Black Sunglasses
- Sockmine Griplock running socks
- Garmin 220