Posted: 05/07/2015 at 21:08
Nice prizes Muddy and Madbee.
I expect most of us have had similar thoughts at one time or another over the last 12 months yeltzdan.
The Spa Striders' five miler is now in its second year. I volunteered for car parking duties, which I also did last year, hoping that once I'd got everyone parked I could quickly change and get a race. However, on arrival I learnt that I'd also been allocated a marshalling spot, but RD promised to sub me if she had anyone spare. Knowing the race had sold out last year I decided to enter anyway and not long after I received word that cover had been found. Phew I would have been annoyed to lose the £3 entry fee.
So finished parking, got changed queued for the toilet and lined up. I'd done a few star jumps in the car park, but that was about the extent of my warm up.
And we're off. The course is two long laps and one short lap, or maybe one long and two short. In any case it's all gravel pathways round a restored gravel pit, nature reserve/activity centre type place. Quite a narrow twisty turny route, with a few sharp corners and some some quick ups and downs, though no major inclines. There is one corner with a sharp right at the bottom of a short bank, where I learned I could make up quite a few yards by taking a racing line and sling-shotting through the apex like Voyager 1 passing Jupiter and Saturn.
There is always a lot of familiar faces at these local summer league races and many of them were there at Ryton, but it seems like the pack has been shuffled a bit over the winter – some have got quicker and some have slowed. Not surprising I suppose, but I ‘ve lost some familiar benchmarks of my position in the field. Nevertheless I soldiered on and was pleased to find that despite all the adversity I was mustering the will to put in a decent effort.
I overtook a few people and no doubt some over took me. There was a lot of support from the marshals (home advantage) and there was a chap wearing much too tight shorts and vest. At around 400m to go I put in a late surge to pass a rival, only for him to me again a few metres before the line.
Time was 31:48, which a bit off from a pb time, but not that far off and I think some way ahead of where I was at this stage last year.