Saturday 21 May 2016

Run>Dartford: Central Park 4 Mile 2016

Race two of the 2016 Run>Dartford series was held in Central Park, Dartford on Friday 20 May. The weather was dry but a little windy and I arrived ready for action in plenty of time for the 7.15pm start. I was met there by my wife and daughter who had agreed to provide me with some support for the evening.

If you read my blog post from the first event of the series you will know that the results and overall prizes for the series are being organised by age grade rather than absolute time or finishing position. This makes the series quite unique and is shaping up to be quite a lot of fun. Runners have also been asked to wear neutral running tops rather than club colours to help keep the events nice and inclusive - it seems to be working.

me and my bestest running buddy after our warm-up [photo:dani]

Each runner's age grading score is used as a base for a score (my 65.83% age grading at the first race translated into 65.83 points in the table). The top five runners at the end of the series will receive awards, while every runner that completes at least four of the races will receive a series medal in the shape of a Dartford Warbler.

The Central Park 4 mile race was run on many of the same paths that are used for Dartford parkrun, except for this race we were running along them in the opposite direction. We started half-way along Mick Jagger's leg before joining the main loop which would be run 3-and-a-bit times.

about 100 metres into the race [photo:dani]

The majority of the surface underfoot was tarmac, but there were some sections on the grass/dirt paths around the park. As anyone who has run Dartford parkrun will know, there is a slight incline on the 'other side' of the park and this proved to be fairly tough. Also tough was negotiating the trail section which for this race was run downhill.

I started the race at a fairly strong pace and hit the 1km mark in 3.58 (possibly a little too quick). The next few kilometres were run at around the same pace with the fourth dipping to a 4.11. According to Strava, I hit 5k in 20.14 (if that is accurate it's a new 'year best'). Then in the final mile I developed a stitch in my left hand side and it forced me to slow down significantly.

end of first lap [photo: dani]

The sixth kilometre ended up taking me 4.32 to complete, but I had recovered just about enough to pick the pace up again for the last 500 metres. I could also sense that the runner behind was gaining on me and I didn't fancy being pipped to the line (I wasn't).

The results were published soon after the event and I finished in 19th position based on age grade. My age grading was 64.6% which translated into a score of 64.60 which was added to the overall table. I was in 14th position in the consolidated points table after the first event, but I have now moved up into 7th position and am currently sitting on 130.43 points.

finish line [photo:dani]

Time: 27.24
Position (based on age grade): 19th
Full results: Central Park 4 Mile
Age grading: 64.60%
Current points in table: 130.43 (currently in 7th position)

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