Dead Runners society race report
Lancashire Walking Club 10000m track race, Bury - Saturday 17th April 2004.
A year ago I was in Boston preparing for an ill-fated marathon. Since then I have been concentrating on racewalking. My streak of consecutive racewalking weekends ended on the track and I finally had a good walk with Lancashire Walking Club.
We interrupt your scheduled discussion about how hot it's going to be in Boston on Monday with news of my racewalk today. This was my 6th consecutive weekend with a racewalking race, I was feeling pretty tired last night and I wasn't sure how I would do, However, today's event was a 10000m track race organised by Lancashire Walking Club, something I had never done before (although I had run 10000m on the track) so at least it would be interesting.
So off we went to Bury, north of Manchester, and made our way to the track. It rained on the way there, but for once in a LWC event it didn't rain during the race. I jogged a couple of laps of the track to warm up, I felt a bit stiff. Then on with my racewalking shoes and we lined up for our 25 lap journey. Only 6 had turned up for the 10000m, another walker started 200m away as he was going to do 5000m. I was hoping to get near 1 hour today for 10km, I had done 1h03.40 on the road in Germany 6 weekends ago.
Off we went, immediately 4 of the 6 moved away, Dave E, Greg, Dave C and me. As the first lap progressed the other 2 got ahead and I tucked in behind Dave C. 1st lap in 2.15, well under 1 hour pace! I knew that 25 laps would be a long way so I decided to hang onto Dave C for as long as possible. 2nd lap also took 2.15 and we got to 1000m in 5.39. Dave E was pulling away from Greg and I was tucked in behind Dave C. We kept going at more or less the same pace, I was working hard to stay in contact, 2000m in 11.17/5.38, I knew I was ahead of my 3000m pb pace so I was determined to hang on for as long as I could. Periodically we would have to move out to lap the slower walkers, we were about 100m behind the 2 leaders. 3000m in 16.58/5.41, inside my 17.08 pb on the road (in very windy weather) at Leamington last month. There was a bit of a breeze today, it would be behind us on the back straight and in our faces in the home straight, every time we entered the home straight I would have to watch my step to stop myself bumping into Dave C as he slowed into the wind. 4000m in 22.37/5.39, I got cautioned by the judge for creeping so I made sure I was standing up straight after that and then I was back walking legally. I was getting very tired by now, next target was 5000m which we reached in 28.20/5.43. Another pb, inside my rather annoying 30.00.50 from last summer British Masters track championships.
By now Greg had overhauled Dave E and was pulling ahead, Dave E was about 100m ahead of us, he would leave a straight just as we entered it. 6000m in 34.00/5.40, still hanging on. The pace slowed a bit after that, I was getting very tired and got another creeping caution, 7000m in 39.54/5.54. Dave E was getting more than a straight ahead of us on each lap. Just before 8000m as we slowed into the wind on the home straight I went past to try and keep the pace going, 8000m in 45.56/6.02, the previous Saturday I had walked 5 miles in 45.52 so I was only just behind last weeks pace! I picked up the pace and Dave C tucked in behind me, 5 laps to go (even though the officials initially said 6, we corrected them), lap 21 in 2.20, lap 22 in 2.18 and 9000m in 51.44/5.48. Working very hard with Dave C still breathing down my neck. Lap 23 in 2.20 and we were slowly catching Dave E, he was on the same straight as us. Lap 24 in 2.19, entering the back straight I saw Greg cross the finish line in 55.45, going really hard now, on the last bend I stumbled slightly on the track curb, into the home straight and a big gust of wind blew us both sideways. I finished in lane 2 and Dave C in lane 3. Dave E hung on for 2nd in 57.12 and Dave C just got his nose in front to get 3rd in 57.21, I was 4th in 57.22, a huge pb!. Very tired on finishing, what a great race! Another half lap and we would have caught Dave E. We cheered on the other 2 walkers who did 66 minutes and 70 minutes. Getting all 4 leaders on the same lap at the end of 25 laps showed what a great race it was.
A very encouraging race for the track season, I got some good feedback from the judge about my walking style, he said I looked better when I was walking fast at the end than when I was hanging on earlier in the race. Whilst we were all slogging round in lane 1 Shelley was doing a track session in the outside lane, Shelley a lap jog with me to cool down and then I did another lap with the race winner.
Now I am feeling very tired after all that but I can watch the London marathon tomorrow morning and not feel guilty that I won't be taking part this year. That will be my last serious race for a while, time to get some hard training done for the track season.
Tony Bell - email@example.com
Midweek - Warrington, Cheshire.
Weekends - Milton, Cambridge.