Dead Runners society race report
Stowmarket 10 mile road race - Sunday 10th March 2002.
On our return from the USA I headed north to start my new job at Manchester University. I was now back living away from Shelley during the week but at least I was back living in my home-town of Warrington. I rejoined my old club Spectrum Striders. With being so busy starting my new job I didn’t race for a couple of months until one weekend when I was back down in Cambridge.
Tony here in windy England, today my beautiful fiancée Shelley and I went to
the races. I wanted to do my first road race in over 3 months and Shelley
wanted to do her Sunday long run somewhere different. So off we went this
morning along the A14 into darkest Suffolk to the small town of Stowmarket.
We signed up for the race, I jogged a mile before the race to warm up then
it was time to line up for the race. I was doing the race just to get the
rust out of my legs before some more serious races later in the year, I was
hoping to break 70 minutes in this race but it was *very* windy out there.
Off we went, didn't try to go off too hard, gradually worked my through as I
got going. 6.48 for 1st mile and working my way through, kept passing
runners to 2 miles (13.45/6.57). The course was an out and back to a loop,
just after 2 miles the loop started, there was a flag flying around here and
it was pointing straight out in the direction we were about to run. Next
mile we were flying along, 3 miles in 20.26/6.41, by now I was passing and
being passed, still moving well but I knew that a tail wind on a loop would
eventually become a headwind. 4 miles in 27.13/6.46, uphill to 5 miles
So far so good, I put in a burst to overtake a young man in a white shirt
just after 5 but he came back at me up another hill and pulled away. Now it
started to get harder as we turned into the wind. 6 miles in 41.51/7.15, I
lost another place just after 6 to a runner from Ely. Another runner then
caught up, I tried my hardest to hold him off and but a Halstead runner came
past at 7 miles 48.45/6.54. It was really tough going here due to the strong
crosswind, then the loop ended and we started on the return leg back to
Stowmarket. No sign of the 8 mile marker, around 8 and a half a runner from
Ipswich caught up. I pushed on harder and got back ahead of him, 9 miles in
1h03.00, 14.15 for last 2 miles. Very tired by now but sub 70 was still a
possibility. Ran in very hard in last mile with Ipswich right behind, it was
a great relief to reach part of the course where I had warmed up. We were
going so hard now we almost caught Halstead up, really hurting but almost
there. Ipswich got ahead round the last bend but I could see the finish
clock and I knew I was going to get under 70 minutes. Over the finish line
Very tired on finishing, not a bad run in the conditions. My last road race
was the Nene Valley 10 last December where I ran 30s faster on a much faster
course on a calm day. Very encouraging, looks like I am getting fitter :-)
Shelley finished her training run in about 1h21.30, a good run for her in
the conditions. I finished 42nd, 40th man and 15th senior man. There are
lots of vets around these days and I will be joining them next year.
time to get back up north to Warrington and back to work tomorrow :-(
Dr Tony Bell
Midweek. Warrington, Cheshire.
Weekends. Milton, Cambridge.