It's quiet enough here for me to pop back in and say hi, purely to note Padams' recent 3,000. Excellent PB there, especially if you were doing much of the leading. I ran 9:00.23 (gaaaarrgghh!) at Watford on Wednesday, so would welcome the opportunity to give you a race there to see us both under 9, unless it's the end of July one, which I can't make.
What an inspirational runner! 43 years old and still able to show the youngsters a thing or two. 1:45 PB set in 200 and only 4 seconds slower 15 years later! Legend!!!
Seriously impressive to still be running those kinds of times almost two millennia later. Although, it has to be said that track surfaces weren't great in those days, so his 1:45 back then (presumably timed by sundial, so question mark over accuracy) must be worth at least a 1:42 these days.
Wow, a Bus PB! How long has it been now? Definitely worthy of a celebratory emoticon, if only I could work out how to get one. I like the way you attacked it straight from the off, and even managed to find time for a classic Bus retch. Great stuff, really pleased for you. It's a great course, isn't it? Shame about the wind again though.
Simon, tasty parkrun win there, no part of a 16:03 should feel steady-ish unless you're in fine fertile.
PP, likewise good 5king, it's going to be another summer of chasing sub 16s then?
Yesterday I managed my fourth (!) race of the week, with the Ridgeway Relay. I was originally on the 9.5m leg 3 from Princes Risborough to the M40, but changed a couple of weeks ago to Leg 1 to cover a withdrawal. Leg 1 is the one I ran two years ago, from Ivinghoe Beacon to Wendover, total roughly 11 miles. Back then I ran 1:06:42, so that gave me an obvious target. I'm a better runner now, but I'm not really training for that kind of distance at the moment.
We had high hopes for a team win, but a couple of late changes meant that the team, whilst still strong, possibly wasn’t going to challenge for first.
Up at 4:30 to get breakfast and get up toWendover, do a vehicle switch etc and on to Ivinghoe for a 7:30 race start. Not fun.
The initial descent off the beacon caught me a little off guard a couple of years ago, so I tried not to lose too many places this time, but still ended up in about tenth at the bottom of the hill, but within a couple of hundred metres of flatter ground, I was up to 2nd, behind Vale of Aylesbury. Tucked in behind him up the hill on the other side of the road, but I lost about 20 metres to him, particularly when he vaulted a gate. Kept him in sight though as we entered another descent through the woods about a mile and a half in, but as we emerged from the woods and onto a straight path I realised I couldn’t see him anymore. Wow, that must have been a hell of a spurt, I thought, until I heard footsteps behind me, and realised he must have briefly gone the wrong way. He came hustling past again, and opened up his 20m lead again.
I kept it at that as we came out of the track onto a road section, and realised that I was having less trouble keeping up on the even surfaces, so bore that in mind in case I needed it later in the race. We were well ahead of anyone else now.
Back off the road, and uphill again, clambering over a fallen tree in the process, and that gap is staying pretty constant. More road crossings and fields, and then across another road and into my favourite part of this leg, a glorious mile through the woods south of Tring on a beautiful flat wide trail. Again, the gap is not growing, and I am at least confident I can keep the team in contention. The next bit is back on the roads, and I am making ground up again, as had happened earlier on. The leader is slowing down quite quick, and I push past into the lead. Don’t look back to see whether he is hanging on, just keep pushing, back into the next woodland section, a bit more of a winding narrow path.
Out of the woods again, and into a field in which I have been warned to expect a bull. I can’t see him, but nevertheless high-tail it across as quickly as possible. From there, it’s back into the woods and then down the least pleasant descent I have ever come across, uneven, and covered with loose leaves, stones and branches. A real potential ankle-snapper. Survive that, then back up a hill, across a road and it’s into the last couple of miles through the woods. The woods seem to go on forever, like the Forest of Fangorn or something, but eventually I am back out onto the track again and rush down to handover first in 1:04:58, so almost 2 minutes quicker than two years ago, which I was pretty pleased with. Official pace is 5:54 mm, which will do just fine.
Then, as manager of our A and B team, I spend the rest of the day following in the car all the way to Marlborough. The A team hold the lead for leg 2, but then we drop down to 6th, before climbing back to 4th and holding that for the rest of the race, behind Oxford, Newbury and Headington, with 9:47 for the 89 miles. Eventually get home at 8pm. Fun day, but bloody long.