Friday, 8 May 2015

Buxworth 5 Road Race

Last night was a race in the Glossopdale Harriers club champs - Buxworth 5. That's 5 miles, so in my money 8km and with 988ft/301m of ascent. Not ideally placed in my training plan with only 10 days until my marathon. However, if I want to take part in the club champs (and I do) I pretty much had to do it due to diary commitments later in the year meaning I may not qualify if I can't do enough races. Road races aren't my thing either. But, I decided to just have an easy run round. Yeah right!

There is some magical mystery that I call 'Power of the Pins'. Whenever I stick a race number on my club vest the competitive sparkle appears. I don't mean it to. I don't even know it's happening. It just does. In this race I really did intend to just have an easy run out. After the usual pre-race socialising we all made our way to the start about 600m from the Navigation Inn in Buxworth.

The race essentially goes up for about 4km to the top of Eccles Pike, down for about 2.5km then back to the finish along the flat tramway. I'd placed myself pretty much at the back of the pack on the start line. No point being trampled. Soon enough we're off and I stick to an easy pace but am passing people. No sign of any other Glossopdalers. Then on the first ascent I see John S....I seem to be catching. And I pass. Hmmm. Have I set off too quick? Then I spot Sharn and am closing the gap. Not intentionally, I really am sticking to a pace I can breathe and keep going up the hill. the route levels out a bit as you pass a row of houses....somewhere here I pass Sharn and really start to be concerned I'm going too fast.

Next is a sharp right and up....and up and up and up. My that hill went on a long way. I did a good few sections walking, running a short way, short walk, short run. I didn't know the route so every time it levelled out a bit I this the top?  Quick check on my gone far enough yet. Eventually I see the sign for "Eccles Pike"....yey, the top! Checking behind I can't see any Glossopdale vests but I know I need to stay on it or I could easily lose my place on the descent.

Down we go. A horrible steep drop where I just don't feel relaxed. The tarmac is just too hard and I don't want to push and slap my feet down hard. I'm so not used to this pace! I seem to be holding my place for a while, sticking with a chap ahead. Then I'm charged down by a yellow vest and I try to stay with him as the road does a cruel kicker up a short hill.  I cross the bridge over the A6 knowing I'm in the final 2km. Watch check, maybe another 10mins to go.

Past the Old Hall and great words of encouragement from the supporters outside the pub. Then down a bit more and left onto the final straight. It's a long straight. About 1.6km. A woman comes past me somewhere and I know I can't push to keep up. Checking my pace I'm around 4:30min/km....a lot faster than I wanted to be going so I keep myself in check. A chap comes past and between us we seem to be catching someone. it's a woman. Could I get past? Distance check. 700m to go. Not yet. 600m to go. Not yet. We re-pass the start line and I'm almost with her. There's Nev taking photos and shouting something at me....thanks for the encouragement. I have about 300m to go....slowly edge past her and then just have to hold her off. Where was this easy run I was going to have?

Final 300m to go and the Buxton lady I got past
Thanks for the photo Nev
Then the finish line comes into view. I look for familiar faces to indicate if she's right with me or I can relax. No-one there!? Nothing for it but to keep pushing. Urgh this hurts. Through the finish line and I know I can't stop or I'll cramp. I swipe a glass of water and keep walking. The gaggle of Glossopdalers are all there chatting away and I walk past just needing to keep my legs moving. I do a loop through the car park and back to the finish line a little more composed hoping to see Sharn and John S come in but I've missed them! Clearly they weren't very far behind me.

Phew! Looks like I need more discipline if I'm actually going to have an easy run when I enter a race! Thanks to Nev and Clive for their support even though not running, to the race organiser and all the marshals for a super evening. At the time of writing there results aren't out. My watch clocked about 42mins of moving time, bang on 8km and only 240m ascent. Not that I'm complaining about the missing certainly didn't feel like I did less than the advertised 300m!!!

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