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Sunday 27 March 2011

I Didn’t Really Want A Hilly Race

The clocks go forwards overnight, which means an hour less in bed. An hour less rest for today’s run, which was a swine to organise. The obvious run today was the one a few hundred yards away on Wollaton Park but the Marrow Run is demanding £38 to enter, that includes £30 sponsorship for their charity. Which is all well and good but we do a run practically every week and can’t afford £40 each time. So despite the petrol costs, it is cheaper to go elsewhere.

There was a race near Stratford, but actually turned out to be way beyond Stratford, about 70 miles away and it was hilly. I didn’t really want a hilly race as training for the Derby 10k, which is very flat.

There was the Newham London Run and we do have the habit of going to the same city twice in a week but on this occasion I think we’ll stay local. Well local-ish, Peterborough was a possibly but it’s full and the one at Tickhill is off road... Which leaves Abbots Bromley, also hilly but only 40 miles away. Cheers Marrow people.

Abbots Bromley turns out to be a good choice; it’s a nice location in the Staffordshire countryside. The race is a small event but a well organised one from the Richard Clarke First School.

After a nice spell the weather has turned quite cold again and I opt for gloves. I also curse the first km, which is mainly downhill on potholed, well cratered actually, country lanes. This forces me in to quite a slow start, which works well, and I actually move upwards through the field rather than my usual backwards.

There after the underfoot conditions are better, all on road but very undulating. I’m happy with my pace but the hills make it unlikely to be a fast time. When Kms 8 to 9 climb quite steadily I look forward to a downhill section that never comes and I’d already seen the finish... the last 200m consists of a tough climb back up the road to the school.

For the last, oooh 7km, I've trying to reel in a lass in a Birmingham Half Marathon t-shirt, without success. I would have though another girl, who runs most of the distance breathing down my neck would help me catch her, as this might even give her the win, but she doesn’t seem to have the legs to do so and nor as it turns out, on my own, do I. Still I can’t argue with 10th place and a time just the wrong side of 43 minutes.

So a good event, although at £15 a bit steep considering there’s no t-shirt, we got a water bottle instead. We’re obviously paying for the chip timing, which is nice to have but for a race of this size not really necessary.

Car parking for the event is provided by several locals pubs, so it only seems fair to thank them for their generosity by popping in for one.

Back home later, I catch up with the last day of the World Track Championships or what few bits are shown between the recapping of the whole week. If the coverage has been disappointing, so have the performances. No matter what positive spin the riders and management try and put on it, things are not looking good. The policy of just focusing on the Olympic disciplines too looks flawed. It may be where their funding comes from but sitting back and watch Australia mop up all the medals cannot be good for morale. Then if we don’t get the Olympic medals either...

(Sunday 27th March)

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