Each year Otley AC organise two track races for members only. The first is a one mile race and the second is 3000m. The first one of 2012 took place last night and I was quite looking forward to it as I hadn't taken part in a mile race for almost five years. It being a whole lot different from my usual race meant that I had absolutely no idea about pacing this one so I began by looking back at my previous times:
5:19 ... 15 Sep 1998 (age graded 5:13)
5:37 ... 24 Aug 2004 (age graded 5:18)
5:41 ... 23 Aug 2005 (age graded 5:19)
5:40 ... 30 Aug 2007 (age graded 5:13)
I then looked at my current times in training and decided that I should be able to manage somewhere between 5:45 and 5:50
At the track I was surprised that only seven people had turned out. I'm sure we used to have enough runners for two or more races. One of those looking for a short race was president Mick Jeffrey who, I felt sure, was after the M60 club record of 6:08
After half an hour warming up and waiting in vain for other runners to arrive we decided to race. The only problem was ... we didn't have a timekeeper. So, the ever resourceful Richard Hamer persuaded a member of staff to help out for a few minutes.
And then we were off. Graham Lake shot to the front and after about 100m I knew I wouldn't be able to compete with that pace. My only hope of winning was if he blew up. I went through 400m in about 85s with Mick hot on my heels. I was working hard but expected to be able to keep that pace going. Mick was still tailing me at the half mile and, more significantly, Graham was not increasing his lead - it was remaining constant at about 25m.
The third lap saw Mick lose touch and I reached the bell in about 4:17 gaining slightly on Graham. With about 350m remaining I lapped Antonio and down the back straight I began to think the leader was beginning to tire too much and that I might just catch him if I could muster a sprint finish.
That wasn't to be though. My final lap was my fastest (about 1:22) and I suspect that Graham just started his finishing spurt a bit later than me. I was well pleased with my time of 5:39 which is an M45 pb and also an age graded pb (see this page for details).
The race was won with 5:28 and the president equalled the club's M60 record with his 6:08 although he probably could have gone a bit quicker with better pacing.
Finally ... to all those running in the Lake District this coming weekend (100 miles & 50 miles) I hope the weather stays kind and that you all have good and enjoyable races. Especially John Kynaston and Sarah Fuller.