Slightly misleading title, it actually refers to the name of the 5k race i ran last Sunday and the above video, from 2011, gives you an idea just how flat this race was. On top of the complete lack of hills this race also boast several long straight stretches. In other words a perfect PB route.
Here is a slightly crude map of the route :
Going into the race, i was confident. I haven’t race a 5k in years and being a short race. I took the race non-plan i took to the Vernons 4 Mile road race a few weeks back. That was to go for it and see how it goes. Now i had actually had some hope of going sub19 having recorded several sub20 5k runs at the Preston Park Run and when i reached the first mile point in 5:40, i had two choices slow down or carry on pushing it.
I decided to carry on pushing it, which ended up being a mistake and highlights how little experience of shorter races i really have. In a 10k or above distance race. Go out to fast, you can slow down and use the next mile or two to get back onto your pace plan. In a short race, as i found out at Vernons. There is little room for error, so going out too fast equals a gradual running out of steam with little or no time to recover by either taking your foot off the taking on board more energy.
So i chose the bad option and when i got to the long home straight, which i had initially looked at and thought what a great opportunity for a fast finish. I was instead battling the urge to slow down and using up every last bit of energy i had left. Annoyingly, i was side by side with another runner and we switched places several times but i knew i was going as fast as i could muster, there would be no sprint finish for me. So as he took off one last time ahead of me, i had no choice be to watch him go.
I crossed the finish line in 19:07 a new distance PB and sixteenth place, but with a sense of disappointment, that on a perfect course with good whether conditions i missed out on a great chance to go sub19 by getting my approach all wrong. I think the long straights and flats actually worked against me, as i wasn’t used to running on such routes and combining that with my limited experience of racing a 5k. I couldn’t judge my pace properly and i missed out.
That said these last two races have been a great learning experience and i think i have neglected the shorter distances too much over the past few years. They offer a great opportunity to judge if you your training is working and whether or not you’ve gotten faster. But that said 19:07 isnt bad, it facct its a great time and it works out at around an average pace of 6:10 which is the fastest average i have ever recorded, so progress has been made. Even if it wasnt what i had hopped for.
I think i will re-run this race and vernons next year, i am big supporter of using the shorter distances as bench markers for your longer races and for too long i neglected the distances below 10km. Time to correct that.
The race in numbers
Number of finishers : 139
Female / Male split : 40% (55) Female / 60% (84) male
Winning time : 00:16:24 (Male & Race) / 00:19:50 (Female)
Last place : 00:56:01 (Male & Race) / 00:46:25 (Female)
Average time : 00:26:42 (Race) / 00:24:40 (Male) / 00:29:48 (Female)
Would i do this race again : I certainly would, the organisation was great, plenty of free parking, use of the facilities in the Deepdale football stadium and a pancake flat route with plenty of straight stretches, a perfect PB or first timers route.
In other news :
As planned i started my marathon training two weeks early, this week, and so far so good. 7 planned runs, 7 runs completed – 65 miles close to Manchester.
Next to book in a few races to us as markers, before the big day. I have my mind on a half marathon which if i set a PB will see me increase my training pace and a 20 miler which i will use to test out the sub3 marathon pace.