Saturday 19 August 2017

Dartford Harriers Open - August 2017

My first two 3,000m races ended with less than a second difference between my two results...

2015: SCVAC Kent Divisions meet 1 (Norman Park, Bromley) - 11.26.80
2016: Dartford Harriers Open (Central Park Athletics, Dartford) - 11.27.45

In August 2017 the opportunity to race the distance again came up, so I got myself over to my running club and entered on the evening for £5. That's quite a reasonable price considering the events are all professionally timed and eligible for inclusion on the Power of 10 website.

3,000m is seven-and-a-half laps of a standard 400m running track and despite it being a little more intense than a 5k, I actually really enjoy racing the distance. On the subject of racing, there wasn't really much racing going on from my point of view because the field was mostly made up of youngsters with much more speed in their legs.

Over the last couple of years, I've done more training on the track and one of the big things I've been hoping to improve is my track pacing - it's way too easy to get dragged out with the whippets on the first lap and suffer for the remaining laps.

trackside details

I managed to test out my track pacing a few days before this race during the Run Dartford 2,000m race and that turned out alright (blog here). I put my 2,000m time into a pace calculator and it threw out a suggestion that I would run somewhere between 11.30 and 11.40 over 3,000m, a bit slower than my previous efforts.

First things first - I almost missed the start because I was chatting away before realising that the time was 19.07 and I thought the race started at 19.15. In fact the race was scheduled to start at 19.10 and I just made it to the start line with 30 seconds to spare!

As expected, the majority of the field were faster than me and they headed off out in front while I settled into a nice spot behind another runner further back. The field spread out pretty quickly and after an ever-so-slightly-too-fast opening 400m (1.28) I settled into a nice rhythm.

By the time we hit the 1000m point, I felt it was time to move in front of my companion so I did so on the back straight. From here on in it was a case of ticking off the laps while still maintaining the same pace.

Before I knew it there were two laps (800m) left to go. The first of these was probably the toughest of the whole race, but once it was over the mental boost of being on the final lap kicked in and after reviewing my GPS data it looks like I ran a fairly even-paced race.

With the race over and the results in, I found to my great amusement that I had run 11.27.62 which was still inside the same 1 second window that I had run my previous two 3,000m races. It was also quite satisfying to beat the predicted time from the online race time predictor.

power of 10 results page screenshot

Position: 14/16
Official Time: 11.27.62

1km 3.50 (3.50)
2km 3.44 (7.36)
3km 3.51 (11.27)

Power of 10: DHAC Open Meeting 3,000m
Power of 10: DHAC Open Meeting Full Results
Results from all the evening's events: DHAC Open full results spreadsheet
GPS data: DHAC Open 3,000m on Strava

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