After a three year break I did my first South Yorkshire road race league meet. The SYRRL (for short) is a series of 4 spring 5 mile road races open to UKA affiliated clubs in South Yorkshire. I did the series back in 2013 as a member of Sheffield RC and the following year a member of Steel City Striders. I could not do them in 2015 as a member of Hallamshire as my transfer was not complete and last year was I missed due to other commitments.
These races are really competitive with the majority of local clubs putting out strong teams at most of the races (although not all runners do every one). They are not one for PB chasers though as usually they have a good bit of climbing in them. I had not entered this year as first one was before Manchester but then this week I am kinda of tapering/ticking over for Monday. Instead of doing a tempo run at marathon pace Tuesday and a short track session Thursday, I thought if could get number have a 5 mile blast and then just a few short easy runs till Monday. Now I’ve found if I cut back on racing it takes me 2/3 races to get into race shape, looking back this was evident in past races where I’ve had 2 to 3 weeks between races. While some maybe shocked I felt last night was perfect for me. A big thanks has to go to firstly John Broom for donating his number to me and Richard Pegg who let me use the number and doing the admin work.
As I wasn’t racing for a time or place, I actually went into the evening race rather relaxed. I chatted to runners from other clubs before we was walked to the start. This is a proper club race, no fancy start pens, simple line on the floor and a 3-2-1 GO! Instead of going off like a rocket I knew first part was a steady incline into a head wind, I was very relaxed for first mile, I could have gone quicker but I knew there was hills to come, I soon settled into my stride running along side Martin James as we ran along towards the M1, the first mile was a steady 5:51 split. Then the hard work started as we ran under the M1 then left at the junction, this was the easier of the two climbs and I made up a few places on the climb, Martin had pulled away but for me I was just enjoying myself, after getting breath back we soon hit a quick downhill and pace went sub 5 as I clawed back some valuable seconds, again I managed to claim some places.
Mile two was 6:05 but as I hit the bottom I knew what goes down was about to go back up and then true to form the climb began it starts of really sharp and proper kills your pace. Then it flattens outs but then its a drag for the rest of mile 3, I passed the Brooms at the top who was cheering us on. I hit 6:29 for mile 3. We then turned left into Birdwell then a left again and the business part of the race began. As we hit the A61 and from 3.4 miles it was all downhill, it seems to go on for ever. I chased those in front of me and for mile 4 held position clocking a 6:00 minute mile. Then despite running 5:35 pace I dropped 3 positions as some people could seriously run fast downhill hill, with some even running sub 5 pace downhill. I made sure I wasn’t past though in final half a mile as we ran into Worsbrough a tight left turn into the car park, followed by a short up hill into the Mill and the finish line.
Was happy with how the race went, clocking an official time of 29:49. A season best for me and over a 4 minute course PB. I finished 17th overall and will look to improve on that position/times in the next two races. Once I get the marathon out of the way. I can focus on more speed work and get back to running 28:xx for 5 miles and hopefully look at pushing on from that. I feel the more I race the better I get as I said at the start of the post so hopefully I should continue to see an improvement in my upcoming races.
- 17th in 29:49
Kit used in race
- Zeon Running Vest
- ASICS 5inch twin shorts
- ASCIS Gel Hyper Speed 6
- Sockmine Griplock Lightweight Socks
- Pinrace pins
- Garmin 220