Took part in the Bradford Park Run this morning. It's a fairly new weekly 5k race around Lister Park in the Manningham area of the city.
I've not been to that park for a few years now and I'd forgotten just how wonderful a place it is. Well worthy of being Britains Best Park (2006).
Anyway ... back to the race. I decided to run to the start this morning as the weather was so lovely. It's about 8.5 miles and I left home shortly before 7.30am aiming to arrive in plenty of time before the 9.00am start. There were loads of other runners out and about and I must have seen a dozen or so within the first 30 minutes.
At Lister Park I was told that this week the route would be slightly different because of other events happening on parts of the course. We would be running a slightly slower route which incorporated a fairly long steep climb parallel to Emm Lane (two and a half times !!).
No problem ... I don't mind hills ... I'm quite strong on the hills ... as long as the surface is tarmac and not moorland.
Set off on the slow side, not having raced anything so short for twelve months, but after half a mile (or less) I settled into a pace I felt I could maintain for the next twenty minutes or so. After about a mile we came to the hill and, as expected, I pulled away from those running with me (Andrea Dennison and ... ) and caught some of those ahead of me. One person flew up the hill though only to be reeled in about 400m after the top.
A similar thing happened on the next lap, except there were less people to catch, and for the final half mile or so I tried to increase the pace a bit and almost caught the runner in front.
Overall I'm happy with my time of 19:29 on a hilly course. Age graded that's 17:33 which is only 5 seconds outside my age graded best. And that was set on a pancake flat course which hadn't included a nine mile warm up.