Sunday, 22 December 2013

Running Through the Field.....

Last weekend was the 29th edition of Dumfries Running Club's Christmas 5 mile handicap. I wasn't particularly up for it for several reasons - my legs were still tired from the weekend in Ireland and I had just been to see the physio, Chris Jerrett, who brought tears to my eyes with a v painful but necessary psoas release. Still, club events are always fun, and I'm never one to miss out on the chance of some mince pies.

Between myself and Jim, we might get our knees straight
Handicapped races are a good chance for everyone to pit themselves against each other, and there is usually a different winner everytime. I decided not to worry about it, but just to go down and run a sustained effort. 
I set off in penultimate position, along with Jim Buchanan. Jim is running really well, and so I thought there was a chance of him coming through the field to finish high up and also to run the fastest time of the day. We initially ran together swopping many pleasantries, but when he started moving away after the first mile, I knew I had to let him go. Backmarker Alan had started to close up on us (he started 15seconds after us) but surprisingly we had already caught and passed a couple of runners. 
It was nice to say "Hi" to others as I worked my way up the field, and is noticed that Jim didn't seem to be moving and further away from me. I actually narrowed the gap and caught him with a mile a go. Unfortunately, when I encouraged him to push the last mile to get a fast time, he replied that he'd just developed a stitch 😥 
Somehow I reeled in some more runners that initially appeared to be specs in the distance, and actually sprinted for the line to finally finish only 1 second behind the 2nd placed runner. 
Mo & Tubby with the best fancy dress!
A new club member, Nicola Allan was a very worthy winner (with a good margin), and what makes her win all the more impressive, was that she actually had to stop running mid race to let another club member drive down the course. 
It turns out that even though I didn't run particularly well, I recorded the fastest time of the day, probably because it was after the end of most people's racing season. I never expected to come through to finish near the front, when I'd started penultimate, but it turns out that I shouldn't have done so. A slight timing error of the starters meant that we 3 back runners were accidentally set off a minute too soon (which is why we caught people after a mile or two). Apart from this, most of the field finished very close together all sprinting for positions on the line, which shows what a good job the handicapper did. 

.......and yes, the warm mince pies were great.......

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