Saturday saw the cross country season draw to a close at the North East Harrier League's final fixture at Prudhoe. I couldn't run as I had too many results related things to sort out, and there's a good chance of injury on the course which I couldn't chance this close to London Marathon. The day went off without a hitch though, despite Simon swanning off to Malta ;) and the results went pretty smoothly.
Results for the final meeting & the grand prix available here on Sportsoft Race Results
Many congrats to the winners, and the winning teams!
The third reason I didn't run, was that I was doing Hartlepool Marina 5 mile on the Sunday morning. I wasn't sure if it was going to be possible after a couple of niggles in the middle of last week, but I woke up bright & early, packed my racers & club kit, and headed on down.
The conditions were vastly improved on the previous years race - 2010's race was probably the windiest conditions I've ever ran in, but I still managed a canny time then, so the course is good. It was clear and sunny, with a light breeze - perfect.
Met up with several folks I know at the start for a bit of a natter, then headed on round to the start. It's a bit of a nice twist to have the race started by cannon that's for sure - the noise echoes round the dock and it sounds massive. They've changed the course this year so we did a loop around the block passing the start again, so once we hit the promenade the dogleg part of the course has been taken out.
I went through the first mile in 6:58 which was a tad quick, but I reigned it in a bit, and went through 2 miles in 14:23. The winner had already turned and passed me by this point, and was miles ahead of the guy in second place, So I knew now all I had to do was count the ladies going past to see what position I was in. Tracy from Chester le Street was a good way ahead of the next lady - so I knew she was in for a convincing win too.
By the time I hit the turn I had counted 16 ladies (as well as waving at Tim from Strollers, Carl from Low Fell, Jeff (HaHa) and Graeme & Frankie 'the machine' from our running club group) so I knew I was in with a pretty good chance of a good placing in the vet's championships. I went through 3 miles in 21:40 which is probably my best time months, but once we had the breeze behind us I really started to overheat despite just wearing shorts & vest.
A couple of ladies caught me between 3 and 4, but I pushed on and caught a couple more that they had been chasing. Missed the four mile marker, but knew I didn't have far left to go once we left the promenade back through the housing. Played cat & mouse with another lady who caught & passed me a couple of times, before a bit of a sprint through the final 400m.
Managed a decent enough finish and through the line in 37:10. Happy enough with that, even if it was a few seconds slower than last year's time (despite the lack of wind). Got a gold in the vets L35 category which I would have got anyway because I was the only entrant :S But I didn't know at the time, so I gave it my best shot.
Going off this performance and recent training runs, things are looking good for the year ahead :D
Happy running folks!