Monday, 2 May 2016

RACE 5 - Stride Through The Woods

There were muddy woods and there were plenty of Hyde Village Striders, so it lived up to its name! I was looking forward to this relatively short race, being only 5k and on trails (which I prefer to road). What I forgot was how intense a 5k race can be.

Being a little on the minutes getting registered, fellow Greyhound John and I had just enough time for a short warm up. Thankfully the hail stopped before the race started, but that weather blip was a bit unexpected. A cool evening and just under 150 runners all raring to go.

The course was two laps of a velodrome-style loop - we started in the middle, turned right, went up a hill and round a loop that brought us back to the middle. Then along to the other side of the park, up a hill, round a loop and back to the middle again. Over the race that's 4 hills - short hills, but at pace they tire you quickly.

It was a race populated mainly by club runners. That means it's a fast race. We were off like a shot and too fast for my liking really. But it's hard to slow your pace down when everyone around you is whizzing past. As a result, it was a hard race, pushing me to run at my speed limits for most of it. I paid the price for that and found the second loop tough. My Strava split times showed me managing to keep a reasonable pace (averaging 5m10s/km) for the first 4 kilometres, which I was surprised at. But then I died on the last kilometre, slowing down to 5m34s/km pace.

The last straight back to the finish line was fairly short at around 100m, so I went for a sprint finish as is my style. I love that last bit of a race, putting everything that's left into as much speed as you can possibly muster. I shifted up a gear and dropped to a pace of around 4m10s/km. While I'm not bothered too much by final placement (it's more about the personal time challenge for me), it was still good to overtake a couple of runners on that stretch. Apologies to fellow Stamford Parkrunner, Jasmine from Hyde Striders, for beating her to the finish by 0.7 seconds...

So no PB for the distance this time and a tiring race, but it's all good experience. It's good to mix things up, so I'm happy to get some different distances and terrain into the challenge year. Thanks to the Striders for a good race and to John for keeping me company and standing proud for the Greyhounds together :)

Next up is the big one (for me), Great Run Manchester 10k.

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