The Sale Sizzler has become some what of a permanent fixture in my summer racing calendar. I’ve done it once for the past two years, this year I plan on doing 3 of the 4. I missed the first one as was the Thursday before Leeds. I’m slowly getting back to where I feel I should be and where my training should be but as I’ve come to learn no path is ever straight forward. I got a PB at the mile and followed that up with two age category gold medals. Now I’m incredibly proud of my medals but I would be telling a lie if I said I was happy with my times because I wasn’t but in championship races it’s about placing not time. I then followed that up with a poor race at Leeds 10k but that I felt was just a blip. This though meant this race was personally important to me as I need a decent time for my own sanity.
Now a decent time for me is sub 18. I know if can run that then I’m in pretty good shape. Now I had run 17:56 at Hallam on the Saturday but felt I’ve got a few gears to go up and having run a 5:06 mile. I knew it was just a case of connecting the dots and the result would come. Last year it was my first race back after breaking my ribs and had a slow start and took till 2nd mile to get going, it meant I only managed 18:09. So this time I was determined to get a good start. This year it was also chipped timed which helps when chasing times as your race time only starts when you cross the mat. After enjoying a good journey over and a relaxed wait for race to start, the start is anything but relaxed. It’s one where you need to forget friendship and it’s everyone for themselves. Elbows are everywhere and you need to hold your own, or you will get trampled. Looking as I do I can carve a decent racing line out and managed to get round and into my own stride within 200m of the start. I soon settled into my own rhythm as we left the stadium, this section is rough as we ran out to the park. As we hit the park we was soon on the service road and was still thick with runners. This meant you can draft off runners and work as packs. This meant first mile felt fast but controlled, I hit first mile in 5:43. Happy with that as we turned a tight right onto the footpath running on the A560, with local chavs shouting abuse as they tear arsed up road in their poxy boy racer!
In the past I found this section tough but this year I kept a solid pace, then another tight turn back into the park. This section is a bit of a drag and found myself sat behind a few runners, while I grabbed a breather. I then pushed on and re-joined the service road to start lap 2 of the park. I managed to up the pace on the service road, but lost a bit of time as I turned again back on to the A560 as watched buzzed shortly after for mile 2 in 5:44, only 1s slower then 1st mile. Although I should/can go faster on this section. The last mile was important and kept sub 5:50 pace till I re-entered the park, I picked it up again but then we turned a tight right and then tight left and back on the rough off road section, my pace dropped on this part, then with the stadium in sight I kicked and picked up the pace and soon as hit the track gave it a good sprint finish to cross the line in 17:43 on my watch but official time was 17:39. Was good enough for 78th place and a season best. It was only 7s short of my course best.
If I can have a stronger last mile a sub 17:30 is well within my grasp if not faster. The fact next one is only 2 weeks after this means the route will be fresh in my mind and will know what I need to do.
- 78th in 17:39
Kit used in race
- Zeon Lightweight Race Vest
- Zeon 6 inch Racing Shorts
- Adidas Adios 3 racing flats
- Naked Runner Classic Black Sunglasses
- Sockmine Griplock running socks
- Garmin 220