|Leg 3 - nice and flat|
A few days before London, I was asked whether I would be part of the Airedale Athletics team for the Calderdale Way Relay on 8th May. Well, what more can I say other than it seemed like a good idea at the time. The requirement that full body waterproof clothing, a map, whistle and compass must be carried probably should have given it away! I'd agreed on the grounds that I could do the shortest leg of just under five miles from Todmorden to Blackshawhead reasoning how hard could it be? Hard it turns out, very hard.
I was paired at the latest minute with Paul, who I know from club. Off road is Paul's favourite type of running. He's completed the notoriously tough Yorkshireman Off Road Marathon faster than I can run London and has also competed in ultra marathons. So, ability wise we were perhaps not the best match to put it mildly or, as someone else pointed out, Paul could have turned up in his flip flops and got to the end of the leg faster than me. But we had to stay together throughout the race, me huffing and puffing up the long uphill stretches struggling to walk some of it, Paul not really breaking into a sweat.
It really wasn't my finest hour as I gasped 'I'm doing my best' up what seemed like vertical inclines, with proper fell runners sprinting past me. But I did it, and I'm proud of that. And looking at the results, our time of 59 minutes wasn't too shameful. It didn't seem like it on the day, but there were other teams who were slower than us (me!).
I couldn't really count this relay as a race so I diligently waited just under four weeks (as close to a day rest from racing for every mile I'd run in the marathon as I could manage) before running one of my favourite races, the John Carr 5k which is run around the Yorkshire Water site in beautiful Esholt. This is the third year that I've run this race and, for me, it's the race that signals the start of summer. The race always takes place the first three Wednesdays in May, so aware that I needed to rest, I volunteered to marshal the first race and run the last two.
|All out at John Carr|
Returning the following week, I was hoping to at least run a similar time, and brought James with me to spectate as he always brings me luck - he comes to about two races a year, so I have to make my choices wisely! It worked, and once again, I ran flat out knocking 31 seconds off the previous week's time at 23.01. Never satisfied, all I could think was that I should have pushed it harder and knocked those all important two seconds off.
So, that brings to a close all that I wanted to achieve race wise...time to set some new goals for the future. But first, I just want to have a bit of time to enjoy running at leisure without having particular targets in mind.
And never one to be beaten, I'm busy reading 'Feet in the Clouds - A Tale of Fell Running And Obsession'!
The madness continues...