On Wednesday 14th June, 4 Harriers made their merry way up the A303 for their monthly bout of pain at the Yeovilton 5k series. The observant among you will note that I just stated that 4 runners went up, but the title of the blog says 3 runners.... well, one of them made the journey only to be thwarted in his attempt to toe the start line by dodgy equipment (this time it is ok to blame the tools the not the workman!). Poor Jon Garrity only realised upon arrival that he had been sold a pair of stability racing shoes that week when he is a neutral runner. Knowing he needed to return them and that they would be no good for him and could potentially wreck his legs, he had no choice but to forfeit his run. Instead, the organisers found use for him as a marshall: not quite the evening Jon had in mind, especially given the superb PB of 18:12 he set in the previous round that he was keen to better. But hey ho, these things happen, but Jon will probably buy his running shoes online next time and stick with what he knows!
And for the remaining 3? Well, Adam and Carly Miller and myself, Ellie Sutcliffe, were all running in our second round of the series. All of us were keen to better our round 1 times and maybe sneak some 5k PBs in the process. Very blustery conditions and a heavy downpour before the race again greeted us at this "summer" 5k series and buffeted us from all angles around the course. Nevertheless, all 3 of us managed our target of series best times and PBs.
For Adam, this meant his first ever sub 17 minute clocking, 16:53, for 13th place overall. He came close to breaking 17 mins in round 1, but his London Marathon effort was still in his legs and he missed it by 11 seconds. This time, feeling fresher, he waged a good battle with a talented under 17 athlete from Wells City Harriers and pushed all the way to the line to secure this PB and no doubt the first of what will now be a series of sub-17 minute clockings for our reigning male athlete of the year.
Carly did a new course best and official 5k best time of 22:26 for 97th spot. Carly was, however, a little disappointed with this time as she has previously run 22:07 at a flat 5k parkrun and so she had hoped to get near to the 22 minute mark. The blustery conditions and strong headwind on the 3-4k sector will not have helped matters though and, besides, the way she is progressing this season, it is surely only a matter of being patient and waiting for better conditions in subsequent rounds before that sub 22 minute time is realised.
As for myself, well, I knew I was approaching the race injured, having aggravated my achillies yet again (groan) at the Poole 10k 10 days before. As if I wasn't already aware that this was a 'make or break' race, the last words of my coach on the start line - 'enjoy it, as this will probably be your last for a while' - were a stark enough reminder! He was indeed right. I started to feel the injury just doing strides in the warm up and it got worse the whole way round. At the 2 mile point it was stiffening up but I knew that pace wise, I was still on for a good time. I had wrecked it by then anyway and stopping now would not change that, so I thought, 'if I'm going to end up injured again and having to rest, I'm bloody well getting a PB out of it'! So I dug in and, at 4k, overhauled a young female who had gone out hard, and raced to the finish in a new PB time of 18:15 for 1st lady and 29th overall.
Next round is July 10th. I think Jon has some unfinished business with the course and I'm sure Carly and Adam will be trying to further improve on their times. I likely won't be there.... but never say never!!