Dead Runners society race report
West Suffolk AC open track meeting, Bury St.
Edmunds 1000m walk - tuesday 14th August
And so to my last track competition of the year and my first ever race walk. Shelley came along as well, here is her post.
Two pbs, a change of plans, and a new event today. The original plan today was for me, Shelley, to run in a mile race at the open meet in Bury St. Edmunds, to finally have a go at breaking 6 minutes and also prove to myself that I was back to where I was before I twisted my ankle. After some discouraging recent times I was beginning to feel like one false step had killed a whole year of training. I suppose it didn't help that I did more 4 races in two days to score some points for the club, but still I was feeling a great loss of confidence, so I was pretty nervous about this mile race. (Winning the 1500 on Sunday was fun, but winning it with a time of 6:30 was pretty silly.) At the same time, Tony had decided to take advantage of fact that they also had a race walk there to try out what he hopes to be a new event for him.
So after lots of talking myself into how I was just going to take a steady 90s per quarter and wondering how it would be to run a mile race on the track, we got there and found out that the mile race was not going to be. So I was really pretty disappointed and annoyed that they hadn't posted this on their web site, and we almost just went home. But then I heard that they had added an 800, and as I got to thinking about it realized that this just might be the perfect day for another attempt at sub 2:40 or at least improving on my recent miserable 2:51 and 2:54 that I did in windy conditions, because the only way there could have been less wind was if it had been indoors. After Sunday's miserable weather, it was finally summer again, possibly even a little warm for a longer distance, but just about perfect for an 800. So there was a quick change of plans with also the realization that I would have to be warming up while Tony was doing his race walk, because the 800 was in just an hour. Tony's race started at 6:50 and mine was scheduled for 7:40.
Tony here. It was all a bit rushed once we got there due to rush hour traffic and a broken down lorry on the A14. I had to queue up to get my race number so I only had 10 minutes to warm up. I jogged 2 laps of the track and then did 200m practice race walking on the back straight before we got called to the start. I told the race walk judge that this was my first time so he explained the system for warning and disqualification. This was a "grade B" event so they would let you get away with bent knees but no lifting was permitted.
4 of us lined up, a man who appeared to look as if he knew what he was doing, a little boy and a lady who I later found out was the boy's mother. Bang and off we walked, the man immediately zoomed off and I was behind the other two. We went though 200m in 91s, I did the first 400m at this speed running 3000m on sunday. I was feeling a bit self conscious as I walked along, I felt as if I could go a lot faster but I didn't want to lift. I overtook the little boy but he came past, he was clearly running in places, still he was only 11 so I'm sure the judge was being lenient. 600m in about 4.37, I didn't get lapped. I was walking along with the lady, the little boy jogged and walked about 10m ahead. On the back straight I made an effort to get away from the lady, as we entered the home straight I could see from our shadows she was right behind me. I tried to pick up the pace a bit more and I just managed to cross the line ahead of her. We were given the same time of 7.37.0.
Fairly tired on finishing, that felt like just having done the first rep on the evening in a track session. I still had a lot left in the tank. I had a nice chat with the race walk judge afterwards. He said that I wasn't really using my hips in my walking, I was doing it all with my legs. Still not bad for a first time. I intend to take this more seriously after my next marathon in October.
I jogged another 10 minutes to cool down and then back to the track to watch the beautiful Shelley do her stuff.
Here's Shelley again.
Finally it came time for my race, and they had two races one for the under 13s and one the teenagers and grownups. I was the only over 20, so was guaranteed to get a medal, but it looked like I was going to have a good group to race with. There was four of us an under 20, two under 15s and me. The under 20 had a best time in the 2:20s, so best to let her go, but the two little girls had times closer to mine. I hadn't started an 800 in lanes in quite a while so I was a bit nervous about that, and also in general nervous enough about the race to feel a little sick.
So off we went, with not a bit of wind. I was in the outside lane, so I couldn't see anybody at the start except the fast girl passing me quite early, and when we broke lanes one of the little girls got ahead of me, but since she had said her best time was 2:48, I decided that I had better push myself to get ahead of her if I was going to make 2:40, but as it turned out, she too was on for a pb. I got around the first lap in 78, and on one hand was relieved that I had started fast enough, and excited that I might actually be able to make it, but on the other hand a bit worried it was too fast and I would fall apart on the second lap, but I didn't feel that bad, so I tried to even pick it up on the second lap. I had originally planned to really work to get to 600 in 2 minutes and let the last 200 take care of itself, but it didn't even look at my watch at 600. I just went for it, excited at the possibility of finally having a good race. The only disappointment was that you shouldn't let a kid get that close to you in the finishing straight. The little girl that I had passed outsprinted me just in the last 5m. I have learned not to stop my watch when crossing the finish, but even from looking at it right after crossing I knew it was a pb, and suspected I had broken 2:40. So we went to my timekeeper friends and Tony asked them to put me out of my misery. 2nd place had done 2:39.7 and 3rd place had done 2:39.9!!!!
All in all a pretty good evening, we both came home with medals. As this was my first racewalk we both came home with pbs as well :-)
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