The Sunday club strikes back!
So unless you live under a rock or just choose to ignore me (and i wouldn’t blame you). You will know that the world-famous Stockport 10 is my favourite race of the season. As the tagline used to say
“It’s not fast and It’s not flat”
BUT it is the first ever race I did back in 2014 with my good mate Rob ,and its held a special place in my running calendar ever since!
This year the race again did not disappoint,The weather was cold but dry,Perfect you could say if you was hunting for a 5th PB.
For those who haven’t read my blog before , HI!!. I have hit a PB every year at Stockport even though last year was pretty bloody close (you can read about it HERE).
Arriving at Woodbank park ,after eventually finding a parking place I met up with my club mates for the obligatory pre race photo and then went off for the usual warm up.
I felt good and apart from a little cold (Don’t snort olbas oil before a race kids!), I was excited for the race ahead.
Just as I was ready to go,the Announcer told us that due to parking issues that the start was delayed by ten mins.The only time my team-mate Neal was on time and he could have spent another ten in bed! (In 2016 he turned just as the race started,had to run 800m to the start and still ran round in a quicker time than me!).
After the delayed start we were off,unlike previous years I didn’t go out like a bat out of hell and eased into my race pace of 6.10 min miles which would guarantee a PB.
After a couple of miles my teammate Chris went shooting past,at first I was a bit nervous as he hasn’t run the course before, but he is a real stat guy and i reminded myself he has probably scrutinised every step.(I later found out he had planned his race on my paces from last year!)
I caught up with him just before the big climb at half way,looking at my watch I hit 29.52. Could a sub 60 be possible?
Short answer ,no.
I blow up on this hill every single year,it’s a mile of climbing and every year my legs are fried.
This year however I changed tactics and just turned the pace down enough so i didn’t see stars before the top,It worked i felt like i could push through the fast section through the housing estate for a change rather than holding on for my life.
The descent this year onto the farmers track had been resurfaced and instead of a mud bath we had some decent running surface. Unfortunately for me I fell off the pack i was with and immediately the pace felt a little too much. A quick check of the watch showed i was still ok but it was starting to feel tough,who would have thought it eh?
Hitting the water station just before 8 miles I decided to take a drink,big mistake! The water mixed with a blocked nose made me choke and as i doubled over to evacuate my stomach i heard two little cretins shout “come on coach!” as they flew past laughing.
It was Chris and our other training partner Rob,who I had forgotten was in the race,i later found out he had been stalking me like a panther and had me in his sites all the way round!
Now let me tell you ,there is simply nothing better for performance,not Drugs, EPO or a head start than two of your training partners passing you in YOUR race ;).
I caught up with them after 400 metres or so and we ran as a pack to the finish.
Rob and I neck and neck(he is hidden in this pic) and Chris 10m behind.
Or so i thought….
Rob made his move with about 600m to go and I just didn’t have the legs to follow,which left me with Chris about 50 metres behind.
Or so I thought…..
One thing about Chris is he can kick and with 150m to go he went.
I may as well have been stood still!
So from leading them ,I ended up third.Now some people would be upset about that, I only felt proud.These boys trust me enough to set the sessions week in week out and I must be doing something correct!
So anyway sod them two clowns with their wanton disrespect for the coach 😉 back to the real reason you have suffered this long with my ramblings….
Did I PB?
Yes ,Yes I did
A full minute off last year! As i said last year , I’m not sure how long the streak will last but i will be back at Woodbank stadium every Dec until I can no longer run a step!