Saturday, 8 October 2011

Riddlesdown parkrun fifteen (RDp15)

The Race:

This week saw a change in weather from last weekend's glorious sunshine to into something that felt almost wintery. There were a selection of kit choices, ranging from full running tights, double layers and gloves, to short sleeved t-shirts and summer shorts. I fell somewhere inbetween and stuck to my usual shorts plus my long sleeved top and gloves.

off we go!
I had been resting a tight hamstring for most of the previous week, so I arrived not really knowing if I would race or hold back and just put in a few easy miles. I had a warm up, chatting to the Dude (braver than me in his short sleeved t-shirt!), and then to Jo Q along the way. The hamstring felt good enough to line up at the front for a good ol' race!

I stayed just behind the leading pack for the first kilometre and felt very comfortable there.

Once in the trail section I caught up with David C, who was also maintaining his 100% attendance record. (congratulations on your pb!)

if you look closely you can see me too
At the end of the section I saw Peter G, who was marshaling in order to rest his calf (I wish I was as sensible as you!). After this I had warmed up enough to remove the gloves, I had originally intended to pass these to the wife as I passed her at her marshaling point but I decided to keep hold of them so I could put them back on after the race.

At the 2km point I was in fourth position, the front two runners had split from myself and the eventual winner of the women's race, Christine C. We stayed in that order as we passed the half-way point (my time here was 9:42). As we moved on through the second lap the first placed runner, Oliver C, had broken away and was opening up a substantial lead.

me and the eventual women's race winner
We eventually caught up with the second place runner, wearing his 100 parkruns t-shirt, and passed him. At the far end of the course the wind blew hard and cold into our faces.

Now in third place I was faced with a decision. Should I attempt to pass the lady in front of me now or wait until the last 500 metres. I held back and as we entered the trail section I thought I might as well push a bit harder. Just before the four kilometre mark I moved into second place.

I could see the race leader every now and then as the path weaved through the trees but he was too far in front for me to mount any serious attempt at a challenge for the lead. Anyway, I had more pressing issues. I was currently in second place but I was going to have to work hard if I wanted to keep it!

As we exited the trail section Peter G gave me some words of advice to not push the hamstring too hard. (Thank you, the advice came at the right time).

I kept the pace up in order to try to hang on to second place, as we approached the final straight Christine was gaining on me. I didn't want to break into an all-out sprint and risk damaging the hamstring. Fortunately I had done enough and crossed the line 5 seconds ahead of her.

this may be the lowest number i'll ever get
The race winner was also volunteering as this week's official report writer, and in true reporter style conducted some post-race interviews. I'm looking forward to reading his report on the official Riddlesdown parkrun news page.

My Stats:

Overall position: 2nd/55
Gender position: 2/29
Age group position: 1st/2 (SM30-34)
Age grading: 67.32%
Time: 19:29
2.5km splits: 9:42 / 9:47


Terry, donning his swanky new running kit, came down for his second parkrun. I didn't see him until after the race, as he had arrived at the very last minute and I hadn't spotted him. He ran an amazing race and managed to knock 50 seconds off of his previous Riddlesdown personal best, coming home in 26:41! Congratulations!

the ladies
The wife volunteered as marshal again and looked after the 2.7km spot with the baba. She also took the photos for the blog. Thank you.

We had originally intended to leave straight after the race but at the very last minute we decided to pop into the good companions for a quick coffee before heading off for the day's chores. We had a sneaky peak at the unedited photos and all the runners got their official times earlier than under normal circumstances. Congratulations to Barb R, who got herself a nice pb and set the bar even higher in her age category!

And that was RDp15 from the eyes of me.


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