Monday, 3 June 2013


                    RUN THE LANES 10 MILE ROAD RACE JUNE 2 2013

The journey through into Lancashire and the Fylde coast has become something of a Sunday morning ritual this year.  All but one of the 7 races I've run have been in that area.  The drive is relatively uneventful. Few traffic lights , no towns to go through with the M6 and M55 speeding up the latter part of the trip. The events have much to commend them.    Flattish in general and  often devoid of traffic for much of the course.  Of course the westerly winds can tend to prove a handicap quite frequently and with small fields it's easy to become isolated and the racing then is against the clock rather than the runner on the shoulder.
 Last week , MAY  26 114 runners gathered at the Scout Hut in GREAT ECCLESTON for race organiser ALAN TAYLOR'S  "FAST 4".  An unusual race distance but it serve as a good "speed" exercise prior to the RUN THE LANES 10 MILE race of yesterday.   
 As always the first mile, not as flat as expected,  sorts everybody out and I'm in with a group of 3 or 4. But as I maintain the pace they accelerate away with the breeze behind. With no one coming through I'm left solo for the last 3 miles, working hard to reel in anyone coming back. There are a few and concentrating on their backs provides the concentration to maintain the pace around the 7 minutes mark.
 As I turn the corner with  half a mile to go there is one lone RED ROSE lady in view. I  felt I was almost sprinting to catch her but the mile split still only registers at 6.58. Having run 26.2 miles at 5.33 pace in days of old,  it's hard to take in.  
 On the positive side I'm just inside 28 minutes. A few seconds faster than 18 months ago on the same course.  
Yesterday I headed west yet again. Just 8 miles south for the RUN THE LANES 10 MILER from LEA TOWN, north of Preston.  With so many other events on this weekend just 65 toed the line.  
  I envisaged another solo effort.  I wasn't wrong.   But as usual there's a constant string of faster starters "dying" to be pulled back.
 Again targeting their backs provides the stimulus to maintain the momentum but it was hard work on stretches where we ran into the wind.  Mile splits proving much more erratic than last week.
  7.19    7.06     7.13   7.24  7.19  (36.19)  7.32  7.15  7.21 

At the 7  mile point the gaps in front look in surmountable but the 3 runners spread out in front aren't going away and it's a case of hanging in there and seeing what happens.  I catch and pass unattached runner, Brian Speake , catch and pass Derrick Marsh of Trawden.  Leaving just Eric Green  He's clipping along nicely but the gaps is closing but a last charge over the last undulating mile in 6.50 (!) proves enough to catch him and open up a 12 second gap. We pose for a picture on crossing the line.  One Valley Strider and an ex-Valley Strider.  

I'm over the 72 minute target I was hoping for and it's the slowest ever of my 105 ten milers, but once again I've enjoyed the morning and the competition.  There's an unusual prize of chicken and vegetables as category winner but I'm 4 minutes behind GEOFF CUMBER who ran 68.11  at the age of 66.
 It was good to see Sale Harrier, STEVE TOWNLEY make the trip up from Gatley and he was rewarded with 3rd place in 58.29 hehind winner Rob Affleck (Preston) in 53.35.  Just 6 runners broke the hour.
                  Geoff's wife SARAH CUMBER was first lady in 63.15. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi there Terry, You mention Geoff Cumber's 68.11 for ten miles at 66 years old. Just for the record, on 31st October 1999, when aged 67, I won the NVAC 10 mile Championship at Padgate in 67.34
    By the way, I'm running short of reading material. Time to update your Blog!