What connection do I have with Sheffield?
This was my second real running event back in 2013. Hosted them days at the good old Don Valley. Didn’t know much about running back then. I ran it the week after Milton Keynes Marathon. Enough time for recovery in between? Yea go on then. Entering with James Dunhill and Clayton Davidson, two lads from university and mates, Clayton being a lad that I have grown up around. I had previously run 4:04 at Milton Keynes. So target really had to be sub 2 hour back then for the half marathon? But really it was unknown territory. My mileage back then was football training and 2/3 runs a week; nothing too special. I went to the gym but did no cardio. I think we even turned up late to the start line. I wore the Milton Keynes marathon t shirt for that race. With earphones as well I believe; Binney would be proud.
The Sheffield Half Marathon done on the 12th of May 2013, second event done, I remember it being tough, I remember the finish inside the stadium.
Could say target done? I had a break from running after that, until the Rother Valley 10k in July. It wasn’t absolutely everything then.
I’ve had connections with Sheffield in the mean time. I came to university here 2012-2015, graduating with a first class in PE and School Sport, believe it or not? Smart ass. Spending most of my time on the famous Ecclesall Road. I’ve run the ‘Great Yorkshire 10k’ in September. I know Sheffield City Centre relatively well, from spending my time on NCS with work through the years, chasing kids (16 year old kids) who have run away from campus. I’ve had plenty of nights out round Sheffield, been to gigs at the o2, been involved in ‘mosh’ pits and gone crazy at different types of bands. Sat and watched Jessica Ennis train at the EIS; sharing the track on occasion. Took a few dives off of the Olympic boards at Ponds Forge. Had many a dip in the Hathersage outdoor pool, where the course runs out towards.
It’s all where I’ve come from, it’s what has shaped me in a way; this good old city of Sheffield.
We’re here today to try and smash it, not rip records up, just smash it the best I can. My leg has felt alright the last few days. Still kept mileage low as there is still a little bit of swelling and stiffness every now and then. But we’ll do what’s best! Worst thing is, work has been quiet this week, so plenty of time on my hands to run; but I don’t wanna do any damage. I ran Spencer’s on Wednesday night the first in the series, I knew that two weeks prior I was in miles better shape than I am now and definitely better shape than the last Spencer’s. So it depends on how much of that I’ve held onto. I ran well to finish 3rd rounding off a Penistone 1, 2 and 3. Of Scott, Shaun and Me. Seem to be a discrepancy in the results but I clocked 21:37, but down for a 21:31? They got it right before they changed them. A PB anyway for me, so I must’ve held onto something.
Saturday came around relatively quick and Parkrun was upon us, a massive turnout and the nice weather meant it was a fast run. With a lot of sub 19 runners present!
Didn’t do much more running Saturday but back to something like. Sheffield Half ready. Had my leg not felt good I probably would’ve dropped out.
I went to bed late Saturday, again, as usual, should really learn! I woke up after 5 hours sleep; feeling not so fresh. Plodding around until I left at 7.45. Steady drive through to Sheffield and there for 8.30; I parked in arundel gate, right on the start line. Expensive but convenient and easy. I went off for a 3 mile jog, to test out the leg and see what would happen if I picked up some pace. Any how, eventually found myself on the start line at 9.15. Speaking to James Sabiston one of my university lecturers in the process, amongst many other familiar faces.
The route is pretty self explanatory 6 up, 6 down ish. Lumpy bits in between. King of the hill and a 10k challenge, you should always run a negative split here!
We were off for 9.30 dead. A rapid start, unbelievably quick for what was about to come. I settled in and aloud a lot to pass. Knowing that I’d probably claw them back after the first mile, on the way out of the city towards Hallams Collegiate Campus. Masses of people out because of the nice weather. Lining the streets of Sheffield. The climb is all up and you can tell it’s up, ever so slight on ecclesall road but as soon as you hit Hunters Bar roundabout, it’s up and out into the country. I clocked 5:33 and 5:59 for the first 2 miles before we really climbed. First mile of the climb now, 285ft of ascent, zero descent. According to my watch. Pace would be halted slightly but I was picking people off, clawing 5 places up. 7:03 for the mile. My legs must have got used to it for the next mile because I managed to run a 6:44. Still climbing at mile 4, onto the king of the hill section, the final mile of climb. In comparison to others, I didn’t run that well on here; maybe my previous mile killed me off?
But now that was over, it was onto the downhill, a swoop back and running towards Dore and then Sheffield. Pretty much all downhill from here, apart from a few little lumps. Legs recovered quick and I was able to get straight into the downhill swoop. A 6:06 and a 5:28 preceded. Picking some people off now who hadn’t recovered quite so well. The race started taking casualties due to the heat, with two dropping out in front of me at a water station. Still continuing on the downhill starting the 10k challenge section, the final 10k of the race.
Not that far off of the Dewsbury Long Course PB!
I stormed home hitting ecclesall road, a lot of people still out lining the roads. I managed to catch Richard Smith a really great local runner, who also suffered from the heat in Sheffield. Then spotting Mark Havenhand for a great snap!
I managed to hold on to 16th place for a strong finish.
My leg and ankle still had a little bit of pain but a lot less than the previous road league and post Manchester blues. So just maybe we will see.
Truly a race of 2 halves!
Strava Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/934674360
With Easter and Half Term coming up, I’ve had a look at the potential racing calendar finding that you can race fairly regular over the next few weeks! With the Bank Holiday Weekend promising something special with 4 potential days for running an event and the road league Wednesday night of this week.
It has also been my Birthday today, so what better way to celebrate than a Trunce! Clocking a 25:18, a PB but on the course for 2017, shorter by 0.1 mile. It was a packed turnout and my legs definitely felt a little heavier from Sheffield Half’s hills yesterday. With Tracy and Claire singing Happy Birthday to me on the startline. For those that don’t know the Trunce, its where this beautiful photo came from, courtesy of Steve Frith. By far my favourite ever race photo. The route promises 3 river crossings, is a true relic in the calendar. £1.50 to enter and has 9 races over the year. If you’re a runner, run the Trunce.
This last week has also marked another colossal point in my running for 2017, taking my yearly mileage total up to 2000+. Currently as of 10/04/2017 sitting at 2,041 miles so far this year. Some way closer to that yearly mileage goal!
Bryan Harrod also managed a PB at the Vale of York 10 miler at the weekend, 1:08:08. But oh my, look at this photo! Isn’t it ace. Now that is what it looks like to give it your all.
Just Keep Running.