Archive for June, 2014



Chaperoning a teenage party seems to be solid preparation for a 3,000m track race. Friday night was chaperone time, Saturday afternoon was race time.


The race was 3,000m. The meeting was the second of the season in Midlands Div.1 track and field. The location was Wolverhampton.


I drove there with a semi-injured but upbeat Dan (and a frustratingly quiet satnav).

dan and mark 3000m wolverhampton


Standard warm-up of a 1-2 miles jogging and 3 x strides down the back straight. Then it was gun time. My only goal was not to be a knobhead and run the first lap too quickly. So often I go through the first lap of a track race waaay too fast and by the time you’ve heard the timekeeper shout “68-69-70” as you motor past you know you’ve probably wrecked it. I was relieved to hear a 73 this time. And when this was followed up with a 2:26 at 800 I knew I had got the first bit right. There was a tight group of 3 up front, which included Dan. He looked comfortable and in control. I settled in with the guy I was running with who was clearly full of leg speed, being a middle distance runner (I’d seen him in the 1500). We ran fairly even splits for the next few laps, 1k passed in 3:03 and 2k in 6:06. Couldn’t ask for more really. Each time I felt I was getting dropped I told myself to just last for another lap, another half lap, whatever it took. As we passed 2k and headed to the 2 laps to go, we caught Dan who had been dropped by the front two and was struggling with his troublesome calf. We passed him and I motioned for him to join us. I also decided I had some gas left and pushed on as we passed 2 laps to go. I dropped them both temporarily but as we hit the bell (in 7:57 and with my lactic-induced hazy brain wondering if a 62 second lap was possible to break 9 minutes. Haha) the other guy came back to me and outkicked me very easily in the final 100m. I crossed the line in 9:07.1 (last lap of 69/70) . My kays had gone 3:03. 3:03, 3:01. Not quite a lifetime PB (9:06 from 1996) but pretty close.


Dan finished a few seconds back, clearly hampered by his calf, which in his own words he can now “attend to properly”. Speedy recovery mate.


Footnote: I didn’t get there early enough to watch the Steeplechase, but I did hear that Ed not only won the race, but lapped the entire field. Nice work padre. Ezekiel Kemboi must be looking around nervously…

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