Where the sun always shines!
Saying that, I’ll probably jinx it for next year now.
The Penistone 10k.
In terms of route, it’s simple, not quite as simple as an out and back. But it’s roughly 5k uphill, 5k downhill. It isn’t scary steep but it ain’t flat either. It’s a race of two halves. The first and the second. Go too hard in the first, you’ll have nothing left for the second. Go too easy in the first, you’ll have it all to chase down in the second. It’s almost definitely not a PB course, runs roughly 1.5 to 2 minutes slower than your typical PB courses.
Typically Penistone for me has been one of those adventures, previous years has seen me run to the event, race and run home. Notching me some high miles for the day. It’s roughly 8.5 mile there and obviously 8.5 mile back! Last year I didn’t end up doing that, a mixture of feeling crap and not even feeling it. A mile warm up would do me at the race. This year, I didn’t plan on doing that. I planned a run home afterwards and a 3.5 mile warm up when I got to the race. I woke up late enough, to help in the thought process with that!
The week leading up to the Penistone 10k, has been a pretty fast one. I’ll have averaged 6:30 minute miles for 130 miles by the time I’ve done! I’ve raced the Damflask Relays, we were back at Ingbirchworth Dam Wall on Wednesday. Notching off our 400 metre reps, for the first time since April. Too much racing! And then on Saturday it was back to Barnsley Parkrun. Friday night I was in the frame of mind and thinking, that I’m going to go for it at Barnsley and aim to PB. The week before I was close, ish. Clocking 16:34, making that my 3rd fastest time around the course. PB standing at 16:28. I woke up on Saturday in the same positive mindset. Believe and you will achieve. All that stuff! Got ready, usual routine, I don’t like change or difference. Out the house to do my 4 mile Parkrun warm up. Got it done and into the park. Usual faces, including the super fast Scott. Great! Clear plan of attack, stay with him. Down towards the line, Scott telling me about his son’s running and normal life stuff. Quick countdown and we were off. Knowledge of Barnsley Parkrun. My 16:28, took a 5:30 lap for the first and held on. 3x 5:30 lap, lands me somewhere around that! So knowing that, I knew a 5:20 lap would be needed, for me to chase a PB. Watch set to 400’s. It’s usually a fast 400, then a super slow 400, followed by a slow(ish) 400, and a super fast 400 down from the tower. Knowing where it beeps and where the 400 times need to be for that sort of pace. First one down, 1:19, bang on pace, if not a little quick. Then came my ‘super slow’ one, up the hill from the speed camera… 1:30, not bad. On pace. A 1:21 clocked from the house to the tower. Back on pace and a super fast 1:12, flying back down from the tower. Clocking me a 5:07 lap on Strava and a 5:20 on the call out from the timer. Scott sat on my shoulder. Knowing we was running well, onto the second lap and picking the bits away again. Trying to kick on for a sprint where I knew we could and steadying away for the small little climbs. A bit slower for the second lap but still went through at a 10:42 call out! Got it all to do and mustn’t drop pace. Still in the mindset, still sitting in front of Scott at this point, downhill. Running past Geoff for the last time, away from the speed camera and beginning the climb. 1:36 for my last super slow 400. Pace had begun to drop, just as I had a wobble and the legs began to pack in. Scott pulled away up the climb. I was holding on in. Hitting the tower before I knew it, only to start the descent. Crossing the line in 16:20. Bell rung, job done! An 8 second PB!
Enjoyed that one. But it’s only a parkrun… what a great way to spend a Saturday. It got warmer from there on out. Hoping and praying Sunday wasn’t going to be like that.
Anyway back to the task, the Penistone 10k. Last year I ran a 35:45 here, my PB to date.
It always is a hot one, last year being one of the hottest. To put the times into context, I roughly do 10-15, 10ks a year. If not more, Penistone always times as one of the slowest. Way off of my PB times for the year. It’s a stand-alone, a course that only matters to that course.
Lift up with mum and dad, getting there for 9.45. Jog from the paramount, got my number from the club, back to pin it on my shirt before going on a run on the trail. Out and back, easy enough! Not too warm, yet! Back to the club, met Mum and Dad. Changed into my vest, plenty of people out and about. Ready to have a crack at the hills! Got Gary Briscoe, Andy Heppenstall, Scott Hinchcliffe among many others pulling on the white vest. Dean Hanwell was up from Liverpool for the race, as well as visiting family! Used to be a regular at Barnsley Parkrun. The firing Michael Grain was also knocking about. We were just missing Charlie, but that’s another story! Walking around chatting to people, seeing the young Eliot Howarth and his family, Eliot taking on his first 10k. Not expecting much of himself but nervous for it, I can imagine! He’s clocked something like 18:02 at Barnsley Parkrun in recent weeks so a sub 40 might be a decent enough target for him today on the flat Penistone course. Into the starting ‘area,’ just on the grass behind the club. Stood chatting. A speech by Martyn Cartwright and then we were off on the hooter. Keith Binney is somewhere in the field, running, so no gun this time! One lap of the estate, following The Bowskills in the lead. Nearly overtaking them as they negotiated a small amount of traffic, and then we were out onto the climb. Quickly settling into our stall on the rises and falls.
Cracking photo by Steve Frith, with the super light Gary Briscoe and Scott Hinchcliffe, accompanying myself. Straight away feeling the effort from yesterday, legs weren’t the freshest. Into the climbs now and settling into a better pace, letting Scott go. Hoping Gary would stick with me for as long as possible. Quickly it was evident that the wind was hindering performances, maybe, today! Headwind for the climbs, not pretty! Pushing on through them. Race of two halves, like I said earlier. Today, it’s all about getting to the top in one piece. Then having enough in me to fly back down the other side. Hopefully doing all of that quicker and faster than I have done before. Spotting people, spotting faces, the many marshals out and about, stopping traffic, negotiating deals with the cars and supporting the runners. We were running on by, rolling with the hills and the following downhills, navigating our way out and around. All the way to cross lane, then we’d meet our eventual downhill! Legs began to feel more and more alive but the hills weren’t helping the healing process. As we dipped and troughed. Looking ahead, taking a glance and seeing the next turn. I don’t know if it helps here that you know the area and you know exactly where the hills finish. Or I don’t know if it helps that you don’t know! It’s one of those, I’d much prefer knowing, myself. That’s during the race anyway, but before the race I’d much rather run it and not know! Before we knew it, we was flying into the dip. Approaching Cross Lane, hitting the 5k marker.
Teresa Wall stops snapping away. The small climb towards Cross Lane, with a group of friendly looking runners at the summit! Cheering, supporting, offering advice and welcome encouragement. Something like that anyway! Phil Hinchliffe and Robin Clough holding the camera this time.
Then the second half of the race began. As always I split it in 400’s. Have a look at my split for the first 3.5 mile… I’ll show the difference later!
Different things to negotiate and a few descents thrown in for good measure. Then the downhills began, a turn and legs began to open up as we fell down on Cross Lane moving away from Hartcliff. Spotting Damien Briscoe out supporting in his retirement.
Looking towards the hill we’ve previously used for hill training, luckily running down it today. Hoping that it would come upon us soon, seeing Scott flicker away in the distance and hearing no claps of support behind me. A race, just how I like it. Far from the streets of the London Marathon now.
Then turning the corner, seeing Coach Shaun Dimelow stood on the corner, thanks to Liz Hutchinson for the photo, turning away to bound down the hill before hitting the trail. Steve Frith stood snapping on the descent catching the runners in their prime, hopefully!
Reaching the TPT and beginning to feel a little more at home, opening the stride. Those Penistone Parkrun warriors will have ran this plenty of times in recent months. Ticking off the steps to the line and back to the club now, pace was fast, but manageable. Feeling in my element, wind at the back, eventually! Seeing Matt Coldwell out marshalling and looking after his kids, and taking photos, multitasking genius!
The endless trail soon comes to an unwelcome end. We turn left, with a small chicane and a chase up Church View Road, hard to believe Strava has me running up here quicker in a training run and not on race day! A 13 mile training run as well. Finding myself now busting an absolute gut to get me to the line on time..
Eventually crossing in
34:46, on the chip.
Not a bad effort! A 1 minute, ish, PB. Better shape than the year before, more determined but not quite as fresh! 2nd place as well, following Scott across the line, who managed a crazy stupid fast time. Dean Hanwell followed me and the lean mean machine, Gary Briscoe in 4th. Anyway, it’s a race of two halves. Have a look at my second half efforts.. not bad at all.
Hung around to watch everyone else finish, chatted with a few different people and went into the clubhouse for the presentation. Picking up first team prize, with Scott and Gary and 2nd place for myself. Then I made my journey home, using my feet to make it a decent effort for the morning out. Plus it’s all downhill on the way back, kind of.
Apparently Strava is down, so I might have to do it all again. Oh dear!
Spencer’s Dash this Wednesday, no immediate races booked in for a few Sundays in July. Hopefully that’s a positive! Found myself racing 8 times in June, with a couple of double race days thrown in. Done 5 parkruns as well at an effort. I was meant to be calming it down this month! Ah well.
Just Keep Running!