It’s been a month since I last wrote a blog post, it’s been an hectic month. I’ve worked over 220 hours at work for the month of August, not including extra sessions personal training clients. Raced every weekend, speed work during the week and kept mileage above 110. It’s been a long old drag through the summer months. Since the turn of the Snowdonia Trail Marathon my races have included:
- Spencer’s Dash- 21:45- 1st Place
- Penistone Track Meet- 5000m- 16:45- 1st Place
- York 10k- 34:53- 15th Place
- Askern 10 Mile- 58:47- 8th
- Leek Half Marathon- 1:20:28- 3rd
- Highwood Hobble 5k- 19:09- 2nd
- Gilberdyke 10 Mile
That’s not including the speedwork once a week and the regular parkrun on a Saturday Morning. Fine tuning and getting my legs up to speed has finally come after the boundary 73 miler. It’s only taken 2 months!
I always fade this time of year, usually, miles begin to drop, motivation depletes and time at steady training pace is welcomed. I’m never as highly motivated for the autumn Marathons as I am the spring Marathons. But you can’t be fast fast all year round. I’ve learnt to enjoy it. The summer like I said has been a drag. But I’m coming out of it now and will have plenty of time on my hands for longer runs. With the headtorch runs on the horizon line, oh I do love winter!
The Gilberdyke 10 anyway, flat as they come. If the ocean was to rise 20 more feet, this place would be the first to succumb to the water. Right before you get to Hull, no hill to be seen. A calm day too, with no breeze, just baking sun! Last year was the first time that this race was organised. So a tester for many, the first time I pipped sub 60. 59:49. For 6th place. Later beating that at the super fast Preston 10 for 58:27. On a slightly hillier route. I should’ve probably pipped that this year, earlier in the month in fact; at Askern 10, but just didn’t have it in me for the hills. Struggling for a 58:47. 20 seconds shy of my PB. But a course PB by roughly 2 minutes. So I know I’m in better shape than last year going into this. Roughly a minute better judging by last years performances and lining them up. Can I be that consistent today? Or was I not up to scratch at Askern.
Lee Nash was signed up to today’s event however injury hampered his chances of making the start line. A smart move and something that doesn’t sit well with me, if it is to ever happen to myself. So I’m sure it hasn’t sat well with Nasher!
Gilberdyke is roughly an hour from home, race starting at 10 I set off for a steady drive through around 8. Making it for just after 9. To a field at the back of a school. Collecting my number from the community hall. Portaloos hadn’t been delivered on time, arriving as soon as the officials sent us to the start line. Oh the irony! I was alright though but water goes straight through me before a race! So a toilet stop was needed. Rich Spooner spotted around the car park, so a hunt for a wall, bush or tree was on. Whilst we did something called a ‘warm up.’ 2.3 mile later. Refreshed, found myself around the starting area. Went like a blur! Speaking now to Ryan Hamilton, a Goole runner who I’ve seen in worst conditions stumbling to a York Marathon finish. But exceptional nonetheless. Toilets turned up and parked on the start line.. ooops! Now looking around, Stephen Maddison here. Two fast lads that I’ve seen before from Scarborough and Leeds.
Toes on the line. Waiting for the toilet van to move. Then we were off, to the Thunderbirds countdown. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Quickly Stephen Maddison cantered out into the lead as he always does. Approaching the only climb in the race over the railway bridge before weaving around the industrial estate before setting off on the country roads. Quickly settled into 3rd position with the two lads from Scarborough and Leeds out in front and no one to be seen or heard behind me. After my first mile of 5:21, settling into a 5:40 pace; something a little more comfortable. In speed with Shaun, Scott, Damian, James, Sharon and Harry the last few weeks we’ve been trying to hold a 5:15 pace. 75 seconds for 400 metres, with a decreasing rest period. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing some specific training! I was holding my pace. Now not looking at the watch, but trying to work off of myself. Just keeping the distance of about 200 metres, between the guys in front. First water station down at just short of mile 3. I looked at my 3 mile split after the race and it was around the 16:41 mark. So not too shabby given recent performances. Just got to run fast and hold on now. That’s all I ever do! Mouth was starting to feel a tad dry, but I’ve raced like this before. The 5k on the track when I ran 16:45 for Penistone. The driest mouth in the world, tongue furry! Eyes and headache during the race. Mum and Dad stood at the side with my aquarium drinks bottle. 2.5 litres of water. Now that was horrendous! The dehydration soon subsided at today’s race, the small amount of breeze didn’t speed up the process. The battle for first had been decided in front with the lad from Leeds pulling away and leaving the lad from Scarborough for me to now catch him. His pace slowing. Managing to catch him eventually, for him to hold onto my pace a little bit before I left him. A second drinks station down. Two cyclists passed, ‘Come on Penistone, looking strong its flat here.’ Asking me about the Penistone Hill Race, I’ve never done it.. I had my sights on the lad in the lead, his pace now slowing and I’m gradually catching him. On our way back to Gilberdyke now, on this rectangle course. Around 2.5 mile to go and third station down. Nearly back. Just got to hold pace. Pace slightly fading but still holding 2nd for now. Cracking on with it. Mile 8 down. Mile 9 and can see the railway bridge climb again. Nearly home. Can hear footsteps behind me. 800 metres to go, still no sign. Can see the finish line. In 2nd. 400 metres to go. 200 metres to go and he comes flying past.
I managed to cross the line in 57:20 Gun time for 3rd place, 2nd was 57:19 Gun time. Both having identical chip times.
A new 10 mile PB. A soft one I think. Hopefully I’ve enough in me in the future to beat that! I felt relatively strong today, but a flat course so no hills to test hill strength on.
I went inside the community centre and got a t shirt. Had a pee. Came out and spoke to Ryan Hamilton about training and running for a couple of minutes before going for a 5 mile cool down. With a stop to Costcutters for some food with zero selection. Getting back to the car and speaking to a fellow ST owner about car modifications, remaps and parts.
All in all a good Sunday for a race, ace weather, bit on the warm side. Zero breeze and flat as a pancake! A nice drive as well over to Gilberdyke. At a thoroughly enjoyable no nonsense 10 miler, PB potential, yes of course! Team Barnsley have a crack at this one next year. Take a troop of runners over next year. A run organised by runners for runners. What else do you want? Who knows you might even PB!
I even managed to pick up a small trophy for 3rd place.
A few 10k’s, Marathons and Halfs coming up in the next few months until the end of October. As well as a few team relay events for Penistone, the last of the Spencer’s series and the winter miles fast approach!
In other news guys, I have decided that I will be attempting another challenge next year. I’m hoping again to complete the Barnsley Boundary, either in Reverse or give other people the opportunity to complete the full course, exactly the same as we did this year. I will be doing headtorch recce’s again, as I enjoyed them regardless! I’ll leave you with this quote from Steve Prefontaine.
Just Keep Running!