Wow, Wednesday night is a bit of a blur. I had pencilled this race as my first one since I began training again. After using parkruns to get used to running 5K’s again I had one eye on running sub 19:30 as I have run 19:4X for the past 3 weeks and felt there was more to come if the planets all aligned. Although I had a bad reaction Wednesday afternoon and almost pulled out as I felt rubbish, even my wife said to me 20 minutes prior to the race I had lost all my colour. However, those who know me will know I’m too stubborn for my own good sometimes. So after a warm up while the B race was on. I made my way to the start.
I was surrounded my juniors so I knew to be careful setting off as usually they have no understanding of those around them and run off like headless chickens. I started at the far right as still protecting the knee and didn’t want too collide as the start is mental. After the usual race briefing we were off, up to the finish arch to start 3 laps of the Brownlee Centre, I was right as the kids set off too fast and most died of exhaustion as we ran up the hill for the first time. I felt like I was way down the field as it was a super fast start, in near perfect conditions. A slight breeze but other then that it was best conditions of the year. I soon started to make my way up the field then a junior from Ilkley cut straight in front of me on the top left bend, I was lucky I didn’t clip his heals, a few choice words were spoken. I got going again and loved the sweeping downhill section and really attacked it. Running under 5:30 pace, I felt like my old self again. I simply used people in front of me to work off and it really helped.
As I rounded the bottom bend I had two juniors in front of me I attempted to go through the gap in the middle until the one on far right cut me up, thankfully I anticipated this and slowed to adjust my racing line. The first mile buzzed in 5:51. At the time I didn’t look at watch as I knew I was racing hard. The second lap and again I passed more on the second climb but the second lap turned out to be mile slowest as again on top bend another runner running on the right cut right in front of me. Brakes on and another collision was avoided. I didn’t get pace up as much as I would have liked on 2nd lap but I did seem to get my 2nd wind as I hit the 3K marker. The watch buzzed for a 6:07 mile. The 3rd lap I really pushed hard and this time I had an uninterrupted lap after the final hill I pushed hard but was unable to claw any more places but did run an excellent 6:03 mile, as soon as I passed the timing mats I kicked like hell to the finish but probably a little too early, I did hit sub 5:00/mi pace on the kick and I could see clock still say 18:XX so I was buzzing as I crossed the line!
After getting my breath back I spoke to the Even Splits team who are a great bunch and they asked how I was and how my daughter was. They’ve been great supporters for a good number of years and helped in previous challenges. The running community is great and they look after their own and the out pouring of support this past week has been amazing. If you want a fast 5k in Yorkshire then you need to get up to Leeds or York. Rumour has it York is worth 30s on Leeds……..
For me my official time was 18:55 on chip, a sub 19 after 9 months of no racing is amazing. I now want to get parkrun back under 19 and then keep training hard and look at lowering my 5k time the next time I can get to Leeds. Like anything I’m planning on running but all comes down to my doctors and what they decide to do. So for now I will take last night as a small victory in my battle with Cancer.