the view from the middle of the pack

"the hopelessness of the long distance runner"

Alsager 5m Road Race

The first race of the year and if I’m honest, I was quite apprehensive about this one. Not because the course was going to be difficult because it wasn’t, it was pancake flat. The reason was that due to circumstances outside my control, training properly had been nigh on impossible of late.

The Christmas period hadn’t been the most productive one anyway, mainly due to a mix of the snow and seasonal illness. The snow, although fantastic to run on and very picturesque, was not the best surface for speedwork so that was left out of my training schedule altogether in favour of just doing what was possible, which in this case was just to get out on the road.

I have been overindulging on the food front recently, mainly due to the incessant boredom of being in the house for the majority of the day and was half a stone heavier than Conwy. Not a huge amount but it was certainly noticeable to me and would no doubt slow me down as extra weight always does.

It’s a perpetual battle to keep it off but if I’m to start putting some decent times together I will need to steer clear of my arch nemesis, Monsieur le biscuit tin.

The race itself was an absolute pleasure. Loads of parking (a pet hate of mine is inadequate parking on race day. An unnecessary hassle) and easy navigate to the start via Race HQ.

The start was a little congested but chip timing rendered that a moot point and within 100 metres or so you could find plenty of space to get moving. The weather was a little wet but the winds of the previous few days had subsided to provide to give the runners good conditions for a fast pace. As always my pace management was poor and I started far too quickly with the first half mile pretty much at VO2 Max and from there you can only get slower. I had to settle into a slower pace and watch Steve, Nigel and Sean disappear a couple of hundred metres into the distance.

The scenery wasn’t much to shout about but to be fair, the flat course was what it was all about. The standard at the front of the pack was staggering with the winner coming home in 23.57 (4:47 pace!!) and a sub 30 race not even making the top 100! Overall it was an enjoyable first race of the year and one I would definitely do again, even though it was a touch on the expensive side ( a nice technical tee made up for the cost). One for the racing snakes rather than the mountain goats and there will doubtless be more challenging races this year but thoroughly enjoyable all the same.

Hurry up before the burger van closes!!

Hurry up before the burger van closes!!

From a club perspective, Biddulph was the best represented club in the race with 26 runners. A fantastic achievement and indicative of the strides(no pun intended) that the club has made in attracting new members. The standard within the club has also risen and if you’d have told me before the race that I would run 34:15 and still only be 4th BRC member to finish, a full minute behind Nigel, Steve and Sean then I wouldn’t have believed it. Hats off to those guys for a great run and massive improvement in the last few months since I’ve struggled to attend club nights, particularly from Nigel and Sean. There’s some serious competition in the races now and if I’m going to pull that minute back, I’ll need to train hard and cut that weight. Game on!!

Avg Pace
Summary 34:15.5 5.02 6:49
1 6:27.0 1.00 6:27
2 6:46.5 1.00 6:46
3 7:01.7 1.00 7:02
4 6:51.7 1.00 6:52
5 6:59.7 1.00 7:00
6 :08.9 0.02 6:10

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