As you will see by the title of this post, I am still a long way behind in updating my blog, but nevertheless this race certainly deserved some reflection. This 5 mile race was organised and run by the fabulous committee of Warrington Running Club and was the 2nd race over this multi terrain course after the clubs debut race in the Autumn of 2015. It was a 5 mile route in Sankey Valley Park and it had been much anticipated by everyone within the club.
I have to say it was fantastic to stand and the start line with so many of my fellow club mates and there was a sea of our primrose and blue club kits in the start area. Although I don’t run with the the club as much as I would like as I have to protect my shins and really manage my mileage, I felt proud to be part of something bigger with my running, and the pre race banter and support from everyone showed the true spirit of the club.
In the Autumn race I had managed a PB for 5 miles, which at the time was 44:07 and the first time I had averaged under 9 minute miles for a race, so it had fond memories for me. Having done the Chester half marathon the weekend before, i didn’t really have a time in mind for this race and just wanted to give it my best shot and see where I came out.
Despite a terrible weather forecast the start of the race was dry and I set off at what I felt as a firmly steady pace. About half a mile in, the little group I was running in (and myself) were surprised to see we were rattling along at under 8 minute miles. I felt this was too fast and meant I wouldn’t have enough in the tank for the final few miles, but I tried to put this out of my mind as I was feeling quite comfortable. Th first 2 miles were mainly along the canal towpath and were completed in 7:59 and 8:02. The 3rd mile really felt like a struggle as it was more off road and I’m not really that keen on th trails (yet). There was also a bit of an incline which slowed my pac down a bit. I felt like I was really struggling at halfway but was pleased to see that mile 3 had been completed in 8:23 which was faster than it felt.
By this point I knew if I maintained that pace I would come home in a decent time, so I set my eyes on a fellow WRC runner in front of me and decided to track her pace as she seemed to be running strong and comfortable. This really seemed to work on th combination of road and trail that made up the final 2 miles. In the last half mile I managed to overtake my club mate and had eyes on another runner in front of me who again looked very strong. Foolishly, I for some reason was overwhelmed with a peculiar feeling that I was Mo Farah, and I distinctly remember thinking to myself….”right, now make the kick for home”. Not entirely sure where this came from……I have NO “kick” whatsoever, just a slight increase in speed. I managed to overtake the lady in front but inside I knew I had gone too soon. In the last 200 metres or so I could feel her on my shoulder and with some considerable effort I did go up a gear in those last hundred metres.
I finished in 40:07, so close to breaking that 40 minute mark. I was delighted, i have to say. The last 2 miles were 7:59 and 7:42 and I averaged 8:01 minute miles which I was really chuffed about. Th support and encouragement from the rest of th club at the finish was great and it was lovely to see the mini WRCers handing out the medals to all the finishers. A real family affair. Another cracking race organised by WRC. I’ve done both of the races organised by the club so far and there is another Autumn race at the end of the year. I’ve decided to volunteer for this one and offer my services as a marshal, or whatever roles are needed, and give a little back to the club. Seems only fair.