Exorcising the Demons – Cilck ‘Em Inn 5 mile & Escrick 10k
I think it’s fair to say that most of us experience highs and lows in running, all relative to our individual ability, so I’ve tried to keep a level of perspective on what has been a very topsy turvy few months for me. The low point of this, at least I hope it was as low as I’ll get, was the Newark half marathon, in which, even though it was a flatish course, loaded with pb potential, I had a horrendous run.
So the following Wednesday presented the opportunity to jump straight back in the saddle and take on the tough hilly Click ‘Em Inn 5 mile at Swinhope, not far from Market Rasen, on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds and as if just to prove my determination not to let Newark get the better of me, Wednesday is a pub night and I had to be an hour late for my normal routine and miss a couple of pints. I hope you realise the dedication involved in doing that.
After a logistics cock up which meant I missed picking up John Crosby (sorry mate) I collected Tony Goulding and City of Hull runner Christine Hemmingway before making a quite hectic dash across the bridge into Nth. Lincs. As we were pushed for time I stopped at the registration point to let Tony and Christine out while I went to find a parking place, only to be paid back by them adding on a couple of years to my age on the booking form, it’s a good job we’re friends.
It was a warm rather than hot night and the sun disappeared behind the clouds for most of the race, so that certainly helped, but one issue I have been having of late is my breathing and as the harvesters were out in force, I did think that this might hinder me again. However I’m happy to say I had no breathing problems, which was certainly a confidence boost. The course is a near loop, so the ascents and descents are almost matched, but as is often the case, it’s the uphills that you notice. The first mile is an almost constant but very gentle climb that in fairness you hardly notice as you’re fresh legged, however the real killer is that you then gradually drop (apart from another steep climb around 2 miles) before the murderous last mile of climb that is quite similar to our old friend cardiac hill in its make-up.
I was pleased with my time of 37:36 on this midweek toughie with Tony coming home in 45:46 and Christine 47:21.
So onto the second part of my recouperation, the Escrick 10k, this is a fantastic rural race, labelled as multi-terrain as it has tarmac roads, grassy paths and loose gravelled bridle paths, but it does have the advantage of being flat. Sandwiched between York and Selby on the A19, it takes part on the partly private Escrick Park Estate and you can just smell the opulent splendour around the grounds and neighbouring village.
This race has in the past shown quite formidable numbers of East Hull Harriers, so it was quite a surprise for me to find only a half dozen of us had entered this years event, these being apart from myself, Matt Pinder, Mike Dugan, Matthew Stevens, Andy Norman and a solitary female Harrier in Laura Cropper.
Because in the previous Wednesdays Click ‘em Inn race I’d run better, but still not quite up to expectations, I started nervously towards the back. This proved to be a little costly time-wise, as there are a few bottlenecks that slowed things down to almost walking pace until the packs got underway properly, however if I’m honest, it probably paid off in the end, as it stopped me setting off too quickly and also there’s a great psychological advantage to passing other runners for almost the entire race. There’s something special about meandering through woodland trails, this was made even more the case as it gave you necessary shade form the hot August sun. I’d been warned that the last long straight stretch towards the school is a real drag, as the building never seems to get closer and I can verify that this was the case, as I tried to purposefully look down for a hundred paces before looking at it again and indeed it looked just as far away. I’m sure there’s a name for this phenomena, but I’ll just put it down to being even slower than I thought I was.
The obligatory “couple of pints” was had in the pub just around the corner form the finish, before heading back home, reasonably satisfied with my time, but more than satisfied with the distance.
Harriers times in this event were:
- Andy Norman 42:47
- Keith Conkerton 46:11
- Matt Pinder 49:23
- Mike Gugan 51:55
- Matthew Stevens 58:31
- Laura Cropper 59:09