Dead Runners society race report
Lancashire Walking Club 10km, Chorley - Saturday 17th January 2004.
A trip back to my athletic past as I did my first road walk in the north of England.
Tony here in merrie olde Englande with news of the first of this weekend's races. We went up to Chorley in Lancashire (about 30 miles north of here) for a 10km racewalk organised by Lancashire Walking Club. This was my first road racewalk in this country that I have done outside London.
Shelley drove me up to Chorley in good time, I met some of the other racewalkers. They seemed like a friendly bunch. There was one person there who I had competed against before, John from Chorley competed against me twice in track racewalk events last year. Back in the dim and distant past I had also competed against him in running events when I lived in Lancashire, we competed for neighbouring clubs and frequently competed against each other in inter-club races.
They weren't sure which course they were going to use until just before the start, I racewalked 1/2 mile slowly out to the start. It was going to be out to a loop, 2 x round this loop and then back to the race HQ. It looked pretty hilly.
Off we went, 11 walkers lined up as we headed out from the edge of Chorley for our walk through the Lancashire countryside. 4 walkers went away from the start, another walker caught me up and chatted to me as we walked along. After about 1/2 mile we started the loop turning right and going up, I dropped back as we went uphill and was in 6th place, quickly into 7th as the first lady cruised past. Slogged away uphill, turned left at the top and down a rather steep country lane, I tiptoed down the best I could on the steep bit and was packed by a man racewalking with a dog on a lead! For the first lap the dog man and I passed each other a few times depending on steepness of the road. As I completed lap 1 I realised that this loop was a course I had run on in the late 1980s in inter-club races. I enjoyed running on this hilly loop back then but I was finding it harder to walk on it.
Round we went again for lap 2, at least I know what was coming this time, up the hill and passed the dog man, they passed me on the steep downhill and I repassed on the less steep bit. I was working harder on this lap and moving reasonably well. on a steep downhill towards the end of the lap I could here the dog man coming but I held him off. A mile to go now, I could see I John ahead and I was catching him, picked up the pace and I almost caught him as we went past the start. I hung on behind him on a steep downhill before zooming away in the last 1/4 mile.
I finished 6th/11 in 67.49, a new 10km pb! Aadmittedly a very soft pb from my race at the US masters in Eugene last summer. In Eugene the judges frightened me to death so I went really slow so I could finish. My best 5 mile race equates to a sub hour 10km but not on a tough course like this. I had never racewalked on such a hilly course, it was technically quite hard to racewalk properly on the steep descents. A good fun race, nice to meet some new walkers here up north. The walkers I was competing against today were a bit different to some others I have competed against. Lancashire Walking Club is mainly an ultra distance walking club, their big event of the year is the annual Blackpool 50 mile racewalk. Today's race was the furthest I had ever gone in competition.
I intend to do another LWC event later this month in Manchester, first I have to run a half-marathon tomorrow in Helsby, more news tomorrow if I survive.
Midweek. Warrington, Cheshire.
Weekends. Milton, Cambridge.