“I have a dream… that one day I may beat my age for a 10 k”. As I have turned the ripe old age of 33, this feels like the first time that this dream is achievable (33.59 will do). And so I decided that I should seek some speed and do some 5k races ON THE ROAD!
The John Carr Series is a 3-race series, set in the picturesque setting of Esholt Village (formerly the set for Emmerdale) and Esholt Sewage Works, one of Yorkshire Waters “Shining Star” treatment works (ask Claire for further details). Organised by Saltaire Striders, the races are well run and the atmosphere is friendly. The course is pretty quick with a net descent over the 5k and attracts a regular crowd of 400+. And you don’t leave empty handed with a choice of Mars bars, Snickers, or a Toffee Crisp and bottle of Saltaire Blonde on the final day.
Race 1 was a cold and windy affair. Thankfully the rain stopped before the start. There were some lean and fast looking runners limbering up on the start line. I slotted into the crowd and decided that today I was going to run an even raced pace, aim for 3.30 mins/km and try and hold on for sub 17.30. The race started and I headed through the first km in 3.15 (idiot!). After that I held on, slowing every km, but managed to get across the line in 17.21. I almost didn’t recognise the other P&B runner, Susie, who was cunningly disguised as a North Derbyshire runner. Feeling the effects of Sunday’s romp across the moor with Sarah Rowell she hung on to finish in 19.18.
- 1. Tom Adams, Ilkley, 15.16 – First Man
- 38. Niall Bourke, P&B, 17.21
- 59. Susie Richards, Leeds City AC, 17.58 – First Lady
- 113. Susie Sharman, North Derbyshire – 19.18
Claire was all set to go at the gun but someone (not me) decided to trip her up in first few metres of the race. That left myself and Jones battling for supremacy. Having suffered a 2 second defeat to Alex at the Jack Bloor I was out for blood. I pulled ahead at the half-way point and egged Alex on (I should have said nothing!). Sadly, my legs couldn’t carry me fast enough and Jones swept past me in the closing 500m to secure his PB at 5k but that pushed into 33rd on the night!
- 1. Kevin Ogden, Spenborough AC, 15.31 – First Man
- 30. Alex Jones, P&B, 17.11
- 33. Niall Bourke P&B, 17.16
- 56. Sarah Louise Cumber, Halifax Harries 17.59 – First Lady
- Claire “Calamity” Green, P&B, 00.07 for 15m!
The final race and Alex Jones was back for more. Gunning for victory after a cracking effort at the Charlesworth Chase. Having had a week of races, I was thinking that maybe sub-17 was possible, and maybe I could stop the rot and get ahead of Alex. We got our excuses out of the way; Alex had been in London all day and was straight off the train; and I had cycled out to the race and my legs felt sluggish. The gun went and suddenly I was 60m down on a rapid Jones. I closed the gap at the half-way point and pushed ahead of him on the return for glory. Pushing hard up the hill, I thought I had it in the bag, but then I heard the familiar gasp, and knew I hadn’t managed to shake him off. At pretty much the same point as week 2 , Jones, strode out and pulled ahead and gained a few seconds. He crossed the line in an un-official time of 16.49 for a second PB in 2 weeks. I was a few seconds back in 16.53.
- 1. Jonathan Wills, Leeds AC – 15.26 – First Man
- 24. Alex Jones , P&B – 16.49
- 25. Claire Duck, Leeds AC – 16.50 – First Lady
- 27. Niall Bourke, P&B – 16.54
So the dream might be alive. A few more months of training and racing and I might just squeeze in under 34 minutes and into 33 minute territory. Maybe I’ll live the dream! No doubt I’ll be chasing Alex Jones down in the process. Back to the fells in the mean-time.