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Archive for May, 2014

Saturday 17 May was the 2014 British Masters (BMAF) Road Relay Champs in Sutton Park, Birmingham.

 

I was running leg 1 in the M35 race (age 35-44). M35 race 6 legs, M45 race 4 legs and M55 3 legs.

 

Each leg is run on the same 3 mile loop.

 

I set off steadily and successfully managed to avoid being trampled in the mad stampede from the gun. Us old timers take this seriously. And start fast! (just in case we don’t finish fast at least we’ve done something quickly). I must have been well outside the top 20 going up the hill about 400 yards into the race. I eased into my running over the next minute or two and started catching and passing people as they tackled the climb. Based on the people coming back to me even at this stage, it seems time and experience doth not necessarily a savvy racer make.

 

We hit the top of the climb, a nasty half mile or so of ascent and the toughest part of the route. I felt ok and continued to accelerate. As I made my way past the small groups working together which were getting slightly separated from each other now, I could see the lead pack of about 6 runners ahead. Without thinking about it I had pushed ahead of the second group and suddenly found myself completely on my own between the lead pack and the chasers, in no man’s land. Idiot! At this point we passed the 1 mile mark. I made a decision to put everything into latching onto the back of the lead pack if I could, which was in single file now.

 

I managed to catch them over the next few hundred yards and thought oh my gosh I’m in the lead pack at nationals. I savoured the moment whilst also thinking, hang on, I’m actually ok at this pace, what happens now?? Before I knew it I had edged past a few more and was now lying in third place.

 

We were approaching the halfway point which is a switchback around a traffic cone and back down the other side of the road. Slowing down to make the 180 degree turn and accelerating back up to race pace took a lot out of me. Not to worry I thought, it will have done the same to the other two. We continued to run in the 3 man breakaway.

 

One of the three dropped back a little bit and I thought he was gone. Wow, where is this going to end? Could I even entertain the thought of being in the lead??

2014 Nationals Masters Relay

 

Before I could answer that question we hit the long drag down the hill back past the lake and towards the final climb, twist, and climb for home. 2 miles came and went somewhere here. On the downhill the lead guy stretched away and the guy who I thought had been dropped came past me as well and latched onto the leader. I was hurting all over the place now, and the pain was sapping the fight from me. They got a 10m gap and then it was too late. They were gone and I was running on my own. It became survival to the finish now, just hang onto third you sissy. I could hear cheering and support not far behind me so I knew the chasing pack was close. I dug in and thought no way I was losing third after putting myself out there for the past 2 miles. I worked up the little pull, focused on pace through the twists and turned right into the final climb up the finishing straight. I put everything into the climb, no-one is passing me now I kept telling myself.

 

Third over the line! 15:24 for the 3 miles. I raced hard, gave it everything and will most definitely take that time on a far from flat course.

 

(Truth be told I’d take that time on a pancake flat course. I had a good day, simple as that).

 

I wasn’t able to stick around for the rest of the relay legs so I’m not sure how everyone else did, other than by looking at the results. Well done to everyone who turned out for the club.

 

M35

15 BRAT A 1h45.58m

Mark Ince 15.24m

Kevin McMillan 17.27m -10

Adam Higgins 18.11m -6

Robin Biles 16.45m +2

Simon White 20.02m +3

Jort Vanmourik 18.09m -1

 

M45

38 BRAT 1h22.02m

Peter Brown 21.30m

Nicholas Iliff 21.44m +2

Paul Robertshaw 20.07m +7

Owen Doherty 18.41m +28

 

M55

8 BRAT 56.10m

Richard Gray 17.07m

Martin Ludford 18.58m -14

Robert Andrews 20.05m -9

 

 

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