Well, it's the MoD really, turfing the already booked race off the venue for a bloody performance car meeting. You'd think the government would be a less unscrupulous landlord. But hopefully it can be smoothed over for next year, Aldershot is a great venue.
Ironic that performance cars were roaring round our perfect running venue yesterday, whilst we had to run around a racetrack.
Really good relaying from Dean, Matt and Simon. Matt, encouraging to see you haven't forgotten how to race fast. Dean, excellent performance, when was the last time you raced that far? And great consistency from Simon as always.
Pete, always nice to see another parkrn/low key 10k double.
It doesn't feel right not to have a 3-post SG parkrun report.
Everyone I spoke to yearned to go back to Aldershot. Andy Vernon was apparently having a good moan when he finished about it. And in AW, I note Jess Judd said that if it's there next year, Chelmsford won't take part (even though it must be easier to get to for them). It just felt like a slog.
So now the results are up I can also report back on the relays, because, as Simon says, a watch clock up meant I didn't know my time. User error rather than technical.
I've had a bit of a sore throat the last few days, though seemed to be running ok. However, my breathing was a bit laboured on the 2 mile walk to the coach in the morning, which wasn't a great sign. We also spent 40 minutes driving around Bedford due to a combination of the coach driver's out of date sat nav and some spurious "local knowledge" from one of our party (whilst those of us who had spent 10 seconds looking at a map on our phones tried to bellow the fairly simple instruction to follow the A6, to no avail).
Course was flat, bleak and hideously windy, with no shelter on a single part of it. I really wanted leg 1 for myself, but as the Team manager I unselfishly put someone else on that leg and ran 4, a decision I was later to regret.
We had slipped down to 47th when I took over ( a late withdrawal meant we drafted in an injured clubmates, only present because his daughter was running). I set off in hot pursuit of the group ahead to get some shelter for when we turned into the wind, and I could hear the Barnet guy behind doing the same. I caught the group, but was clearly running a very different pace to them, so shelter was out of the question. Just forged on by into the wind, with Barnet slyly tucked in behind. Next group was some way up the road, so just concentrated on reeling them in.
As soon as we were past the bend and had the wind at our backs, Barnet came past and forged ahead. Cheeky. I've now gained 6 places and lost one. Set myself a target of gaining 10. Straight past the next group, but there are big gaps in between and it's lonely running. Turn back into the wind, and Barnet just ahead slows again, almost demanding I go past. I want a decent time, and I can t be doing with inconsistent pacing, so I just push on, and again he sits on my shoulder. We're picking off people one at a time now, and by the time we turn for the home straight I reckon I'm up by 11. Of course, as soon as we turn away from the wind again, Barney shoots off and leaves me for dead. (To be fair at the finish he does apologise for his gratuitous drafting, and since it's just good race tactics, I can hardly complain.
My time is 19:01. For the first time in 4 years I am not the fastest, cos our first leg runner managed 5 seconds quicker.
Bit disappointed with the time. I do think the first leg has an advantage of some shelter in numbers (plus the usual effect of running with people at a similar pace). Apologies to Simon, not wanting to belittle his race, but looking at the times there are a lot of people on the later legs who are slower in comparison to similar runners on the early legs.
We end up 35th. I reckon if the Team I had originally put together had run, we might have qualified. We won't get a better chance, and I don't see myself taking part in the nationals unless I swap clubs.
Samir Haddad once got bitten by a horsefly. Samir didn't notice of course, but his blood was so potent that the horsefly, whacked off its face, spiralled far upwards, straight into the engine of a passenger jet, bringing it crashing to the ground.