Dead Runners society race report
Enfield Racewalking League 5 miles - Saturday 10th January 2004.
First racewalk of the year with an unexpected trip to London for the start of the 2004 Enfield League.
Tony here with a report on an unexpected racewalk last weekend. Since I took up racewalking seriously a year ago I have been competing in the monthly Enfield League series in London.
I arrived back to Cambridge and the beautiful Shelley on Friday night after my first week back at work in Manchester. There was a letter for me from the Enfield organiser saying that next Enfield league race was to take place after all on January 10th not (as I had thought) January 17th. I had planned to go with TBS to the Chiltern League XC this weekend but as there was a racewalk I decided to do my own thing.
So on Saturday morning we both drove off to London, I went to Enfield and Shelley to Slough for her XC. I arrived in good time and signed in for the race. Unfortunately my racewalk shoes were still up north so I was going to have to compete in my road running shoes. Just before the race I realised that I had a hole in my sock and I had no change of socks. I just had to bear the inevitable blister that would come.
2 laps jog and 2 laps racewalk around the Enfield track to warm up, I did another 1/4 mile in my race gear just before the start. Conditions were fairly good; cold, cloudy with a light breeze, I was going to tough it out in vest and shorts today.
Off we went, 27 lined up today. As the pack sorted itself I found myself just behind Alan from Ilford, I finished 1s ahead of Alan last month. From the start I was feeling tired and working hard to stick with Alan, we were in 9th and 10th. 1 mile (1 lap) completed in 9.24, a fast looking youngster dropped out after a mile so that put me up to 9th. Felt slightly better on lap 2 but still working very hard, 2 miles in 18.54/9.30. Around halfway I got a warning from the judge for creeping (bent knees), I had lost a bit of concentration here and my form got worse. 3 miles in 28.22/9.28, up to 8th as one of the faster walkers had dropped out, working very hard to stick with Alan, we had lapped the back marker at this point.
2 laps to go, Alan got a few yards ahead but I managed to stay in contact, I could feel a blister forming :-( 4 laps in 37.46/9.24, last month I was able to get ahead of Alan on the last lap but not today. Alan speeded up and I hung on by my fingernails. Coming down the home straight I tried to overtake but Alan stayed ahead to the line, we both crossed the line in 47.01. Alan deserved to beat me as he did all the work.
Very tired on finishing, pretty good race considering how tired I felt at the end, my 2nd best time for this 5 mile series. My legs were very sore and I was very glad to get my shoes off after the race, there was a nice big blister on my heel :-(
After the race the racewalk judge and one of the officials had a word with me telling me that I was creeping quite badly at the end today when I got tired. I have speeded up a lot over the last year and they said my racewalk technique has not kept up with my speed. If this were a category A racewalk (contact and bent knees are judged) I would have been in trouble from the judges. I will need to slow down a bit and work on my technique before I do any more category A races. This is all part of learning to be a racewalker, the sport where when you need to go as fast as possible with the handbrake on!
Tony Bell - firstname.lastname@example.org
Midweek - Warrington, Cheshire.
Weekends - Milton, Cambridge.