Entering this race seemed like a good idea at the time, despite the race being in the week after Sleepless. I knew yesterday however that I was far from ready for a 5 mile off-road run at full pelt. I knew I’d be slow and I suspected that I might just die on my ass halfway ’round. Ah well, it’ll be reet, etc.
I’d probably know a lot of the local lads doing it so it might be a good social occasion (or at least a means of letting people know that I’m still alive). A bloke that I don’t know spoke to me at the start about Hit the North and how he’d done the last 2 races and was keen for us to do another. After reassuring him that we will be we lined up.
There were only 45 people taking part in this race, which is a shame for the organisers and was going to make it very easy to come last…I lined up at the front anyway, somewhat optimistically.
At the first climb and the start of the off-road trail I was in 10th-ish I think. I was already finding the pace difficult – my legs were complaining something rotten and we were only half a mile from the start…I dug in and tried to ignore the discomfort. I was slowing down. A couple of runners passed me. Then another, and another….this was daft. The last one to pass me was this old bloke who was running like he had rickets…sod this I’m either going to have to pull my finger out or just stop.
I pulled my finger out and got back a couple of places. I lost a couple more I think but I mostly held my position both up and down hills. For the final mile or so I was really just hanging on, knowing that I was in about 15th place. I didn’t want to be any further back than that.
Over the canal, down the path then onto the running track where I saw Vince at the end doing the timing. ‘Hello, you’re 15th’ he said and handed me a bottle of water. Rather surprisingly I managed it in 35.39. Not mega-fast but not too bad considering I was knackered at the start. Most importantly I wasn’t beaten by any girls. The first female was a whole second behind me in 16th place
I’ll probably plan better next time and make sure I don’t include 5 miles of hard running as part of my ‘recovery’ routine, because that really did hurt quite a lot.