Dead Runners society race report
"Mota-vation" race number 1,
Charlton-on-Otmoor, 4 miles 31 yards - thursday 4th May
Here's the report on my first race as part of the Oxford running scene as I entered a midweek race series.
Tony here in Oxford (back to the beautiful
Shelley in Cambridge tomorrow :-)) after doing his first race in Oxford which
didn't involve university competition. Kidlington Road Runners, one of the local
clubs here in Oxford, organise a 5 race summer 4 mile series around Oxford and
tonight was the first one of the year. I travelled with one of my Mansfield Road
Runners (OU staff running club) colleagues out to the little village of
Charlton-on-Otmoor about 5 miles north of Oxford for this race. We arrived in
plenty of time and paid a pound for the privilege of parking in a bumpy field
before getting our race numbers.
About 15 minutes before the start on with the race gear and jogged out to the start. I did about a mile jogging before the race to warm up, a bit chilly before the start as it was a rather cool and windy night. My back was feeling rather sore as I started the warm up although it eased off a little as I jogged. Off to the start, there looked like a good turn out, about 150-200 runners including at least 8 from MRR. I deliberately lined up near the back, after going off far too fast in my last 2 races I didn't want to go off too hard this time.
Bang and off we went, immediately started to work my way through as we ran through the village to start our tour of the country lanes. Felt reasonably good as I gradually picked up the pace and worked my way through, 1 mile in 6.38 and feeling reasonably good. Kept working my way through, I could see one of my wednesday lunchtime training partners ahead and I had visions of catching him (but I didn't). By 2 miles (12.59/6.21) my position had come to some sort of equilibrium. I had caught MRR member Everard, a very good V60 runner by now but he gradually pulled away after that. By now my back was feeling sore and I was feeling rather tired but I kept pushing on. Now running in a bunch with a lady in red and yellow and a young man in red and yellow, tough going to hang on, we were gradually closing on a young lady in blue. 3 miles in 19.32/6.33, very tired by now, hanging onto the bunch but only one more mile left. Really tough into the wind in the last mile, got ahead of the young man but the red/yellow lady just got ahead. Now running with the blue lady back into the village, passed an older runner in yellow and black in the last 1/2 mile. Desperately hanging on for the finish now, I tried to speed up in the last 1/4 mile but the blue lady zoomed away as we turned onto the sports field to the finish, I got some encouragement from MRR eurodead Bob Wells as I turned into the finish, Bob had finished well ahead of me. I couldn't raise much of a sprint at the end. Crossed the line in 26.27 to finish the 4 miles 31 yards race distance (this distance is certified accurate, why they couldn't move the start or finish 31 yards to make it 4 miles is a mystery!!!!).
Very tired on finishing, I would have preferred to have broken 26 minutes but I was satisfied with my running today, I ran it pretty hard all the way. I think I went through 5km in about the same time (20.15) as the 5km I did in London on 31 March and kept going for another 0.9 miles. Considering the cool windy conditions and my sore back not a bad run. I jogged 1/2 mile very slowly back to the car to recover. I think I shall do more of these races during the summer although some summer weather wouldn't go amiss for the next one.
Dr Tony Bell
Weekends - Milton, Cambridgeshire. Midweek, Dept of Inorganic Chemistry, Oxford University. <http://www.shells.demon.co.uk/tonyweb.html>
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