I’d established that running quicker doesn’t hurt as much, but I didn’t feel confident about the first club Trophy Race of 2015. It’s a series of handicapped races, where runners are set off in order, from the slowest to the quickest. It’s calculated so that in theory, everybody finishes at the same time.
Of course, this never happens.
The main aim is to run as fast as you can for 2.5 miles, overtake as many people as you can, without being overtaken yourself. You get points for four of the five races, with fewer points the higher up the field you finish. The reality is, new and improving runners are the ones who end up winning the series. But it’s all a laugh, right?
I’d run just the one last year, officially. That was when I was fitter, and quicker, so I was right to be worried. As we were waiting to be lined up, club mates who are running quicker than me at the moment we’re joking the queue before me. I ended up starting my race a lot further back than I would have liked.
If someone knew what they were doing they could easily engineer their own races, and finishing positions. But I’m too competitive for that. I’m not good enough, either, to pace myself to do it. I’m also not a cheat. If I win, I do it because of my own improvement, not because I’ve given myself the chance to. If you get what I mean. But most importantly. I’m too competitive. I don’t want to finish last! Looking at the where I’d been placed, it looked like a possibility, however.
The weather had been horrendous. Squally showers, feeling cold in the strong winds, I’d made the decision to run from the club to Vicky Park in my vest. I knew I’d regret it, but running fast makes even an ice block like me heat up. The warm-up had worn off by the time I was set off, along with two much faster men! This wasn’t fair!
I went for it, as best I could. I bunny-hopped with one runner, Paul. I overtook very few, whilst the quicker runners flew last me. In the end, Paul left me in his wake. It was one of those horrible runs, where the uphills seemed longer, and higher than I remembered, and the wind was always in my face, whatever direction I ran in.
I wasn’t the last runner. I don’t know where I started off from, but I was the 47th out of 54 runners to finish. Ouch. My time of 18:23 was the quickest run for many months, however, in terms of overall pace. I was delighted with that. I had no after effects, and I feel more confident that the end of my illness and injury misery is nigh.