Posted: Yesterday at 12:12
PP - good work on the North Downs, with all this track stuff going on I'd almost forgotten people ran distances like that. Nice trophy claiming, and glad you got away with your twist.
Andrew - speedy reps on the road.
Last Vets League match last night. I was really hoping we'd have some takers for the 800 so I could attack the 3000 on fresh legs, but it was not to be, so ended up with both.
Standing on the start line of the 800, the air was thick with swarms of tiny black flies, seemingly attracted to sweat and settling all over our arms, faces, vests and legs, Deeply unpleasant, and made us impatient to get going. After the break I settled into 3rd, and felt controlled for an opening 65 lap just behind the two leaders, but as the second lap began they started to pull away (I knew they would) and I started to tie up. Finished in a safe 3rd for 2:13.7. PB is 2:13.1, and I was realty hoping I could have smashed that, but couldn't do it. I really should be running much quicker than that, but hey ho.
Then an hour or so of milling around trying to keep the legs moving, and onto the 3000. The usual suspects in this league are there, James from Abingdon and Julian and Les from Oxford. Two of them have also done the 800, so we'll see how that pans out. A bit of a scramble from the start, and James takes the lead with me back in third. He sets a quick opening lap of 70, but it feels OK. Second lap comes, and we're all still in the same order, and that's a 73, which is OK given the opener. I've scooted round Julian into 2nd, but we're all still following the procession, with the predicted front 4 having broken well away, but its a 74, so the pace is slipping and I need to get a move on if I want to be anywhere round 9. Surge past James and take the lead and almost immediately open a gap. This looks like a mid-race surge from those behind, but I really didn't intend it to be so sudden.
The 1500 comes up in 4:33, and I feel like I'm on my own now, but don't want to look back and check. It's going to be a hell of a job pulling back a sub-9 from here though, and would require close to a 1500 PB! Just try to keep the hammer down for the last few laps to at least get a PB (9:15). I'm clear in the lead, maybe I can finally win one of these after a string of 2nds.
Bell goes and I think I've got a 3-4 second gap. Who's it over though? One of the guys has blistering 800 pace, but is it him that's following? Try to make the last lap a fast one, and I've still got the gap at 200 to go. In the bag now, surely! But at 150 to go I hear footsteps and all of a sudden Les is alongside and flies past me at a pace I probably couldn't live with even fresh, and takes the win. The crowd love it, and I'm the fall guy. Balls!
Pretty sure my last lap was the fastest of the race, so there's just nothing I could have done against that kind of kick. I knew I'd have to build a lead, so it was the right tactics, just couldn't get a big enough gap.
Still, consoled with 9:05.8 for a new 10-second PB, and there were a couple of quality runners behind me. On the right day, in the right race, a sub-9 is very definitely on.
Then a leg of the 4 x 200, but the less said about that the better.