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Nice un Bus - and you were right, Marlow 5 day has to always be in the sun! It doesn't matter how much it rains and is cold the week before, by race day it's always warm!
Let's crack on
Marlow 5 then.
My 11th time turning out here then. Easily my highest attended race, and always a good one, having run for Marlow Strider for years, and done loads of runs around the area. Always know so many people at the race too, that the difficulty is getting enough time in with enough people.
With Dashers having a ridiculous 92 people entered, it was certainly going to be a bit of a race take over. Numbers were reaching record levels too, with apparently 1,800 entries sold! As there have been just over 1,000 finishers the last two years, it was certainly a heady year.
The 10miler three weeks ago gave me some confidence, as I hadn't blown beans on the pretty hot day, and ended feeling good. So a 5miler would be fine, I thought. Yeah the mile the other day wasn't my fastest, but it was still a 5.08 job, so as long as I got out well under the 5.57 average at Maidenhead, but well slower than the 5.08, we'd be alright
Woke up feeling fine, just that slightly sicky adrenaline feel that you'll always have, but pleased the slight run down stressiness of earlier in the week had gone. I can definitely look back at the Wokingham pull out in Feb as being right now, as "This" was that sort of race lead up doubt, and those go. Wokingham was just beyond that sensible to race threshold.
Obligatory early (free) park up job in Marlow - by about 8am, for a 9.30 race
I'd sacked off the team trophy to Trev Hunter the week before, so just a leisurely stroll in to pick the pack and chip up. Always when the nerves start building, of who you might want to beat, or what sort of disclaimers you might need to come up with.
Team photo at 9am at the Redgrave status for a massive gang outing. Then realised I best get out there for a little warm up, and the more ugly business in some bushes.
The team prize was a possibility for the 3rd year in a row, but no Samson today. Lee was here, and Ferguson who'd done a 2.54 marathon and Mr Wool, another comfy sub 3. But one glimpse at the start line, with Reading having Corney going for mid 24, plus 3 other decent faces suggested no chance. Wycombe Phoenix had a number of decent runners out too.
To the start line then, amazed that the weather was suddenly so sunny, off literally nothing. Even yesterday when going for my "Go faster" haircut at 2-3pm it was cool!
Obligatory banter with Ferguson and our best lady Jill - who was odds on to win the ladies race - about how they should be starting further forward than me
Mr Ferguson beat me at the Handy Cross XC, has been doing big miles, and did his 2.54 marathon recently, while Jill smashes out 90mile weeks and did an even faster one, 2.48. So having no guarantee what I was going to be doing, I certainly couldn't second guess their times!
Back to the Vaporflys - has to be really - for the mental side if anything.
The race organiser who Bus will knows, always strikes me as a bit of an unintentional comedy genius. Go on the "b" in "Bang" he tells us then counts down.
No bang. So everyone's doing some ludicrous statue impressions in mid air, until he finally gets the gang bang going.
Sensibly off I think, but bearing in mind Jill n Fergo behind need keeping there.
It feels decent, not overdoing it but obvious race start adrenaline sees it 5.20s for now.
Out of the park and up to the roundabout, and it's getting going.
Lot of people at the front end this year, but to be expected that some of the extras would be up top when there's 500 more than last year racing!! It must be an absolute jam midpack!
Splits at the Marlow 5 aren't always easy, as at least 2 of them always come out a bit off, so will have to bear with me on these.
5.31 for mile 1 on my watch, but take the actual split at 5.34. So that's on for my years ago pb pace, so that's probably spot on for where I am these days, as that'll obviously ease off later.
You cross in and out of spectators a couple of times on the next mile which is quality. I'm going well it feels, smooth, but not "Too" hard. Definitely more "at it" effort wise than Maidenhead 10.
Second mile comes up on the watch before I'm at the marker as always for this mile, 5.38 though I think, having taken 2 splits at it!
The third mile is the best and worst of the course. Worst because it has the incline, and a fussy long stretch right next to a road, but brilliant when you get to the peak, and know you have a 1/3mile downish part.
About 5.52 for this mile, but it'll always be the slowest on the course.
Had broken through a gang of 3 just before this part. One guy was clutching his hamstring which was definitely a "come through" invitation! Not seen many people have that sort of muscular complaint in all my years racing - unusual as you're at a more controlled pace than say football, which is nothing to flat out instantly.
Down the slight descent then, eagerly listening out for any "come on dashers" to people behind me. I can't hear any. Dave Lee is well in the distance, but I should be able to see it home for second dasher from here all going well.
The 4th mile is good, as you're up to about 3.4miles before you turn to a straight, and if you manage not to mangle your nads on the bollards, you're well away. Turn another bend, and you take the 4th mile split, only to remember oh yeah, they ALWAYS have this marker a good deal early, as you wonder how you've suddenly put a 5.25 mile in.
Ignore that then, and carry on, and the last mile can feel long. Not so much today though, as I split it off in 1/4miles, and before I know it I'm back facing the park, and ready to see it in.
Couple of unnecessary looks behind, when I probably should have been trying to nick one place in front, and in this time, I've seen a 5.42 mile, and a 19sec extra...which probably should have been on the 5.25!
Now confirmed as
That felt a decent turnout today, slightly quicker than last year, 6 places down on last year, but out of 450+ more!
I just had enough time to crouch down, turn round, banter with the race organiser telling us to "die elsewhere", and there was Fergo, and Jill in right behind. It feels so close, but 19 & 28secs respectively, so I suppose that's the end of a straight away, sort of distance.
All felt a good little workout, and getting more of a feeling of what's race effort again, while giving a base to set a line to improve from hopefully.
Ridiculous goody bag again, packed with food, drink, sun cream stuff (!), race entry forms etc, which on top of a medal and a quality t shirt, for £13 is amazing value.
For anyone who has been around me post race, you can well imagine the jibber jabber to be had, so by the time I'd deconstructed mine and another 50 people's races, jogged a 1.5mile gang cool down out, plus watched Jill win the women's ield (after originally being left off the results completely!!!), time was getting on! I was probably the last non organiser out of the field!
Caught up with my old coach from Marlow days, who recognised me pre-race, but not after, which was comedy!
And small world, the women's 2nd runner I remember doing a reccie of the Wyc half route with her and the late chairman of Handy Cross what must have been about 15 years ago now! Runs for Wycombe Phoenix now, and I was going to bundle over and say hi, but spotting the husband and kid, thought, nah
Will see what's what with the next turnout. There is a club 5k this Tue, but we'll see if that's too close or not. There is the Masters team 5k leg one in Birmingham on Saturday.
Either way I need a few 5k turnouts before having a slash at a fast one.
For those who love a pic to break the yabber up..
Good report and race SG, you look to be in a good position for a fast summer!
Phil - Nicely paced for your daughter, I heard that race had a few problems. I know someone had a different result text to them to what it says on the website!
Reg - Good luck on Sunday!
Did a 7m tempo Friday with the plan being for 6m at tempo then run the last mile hard. 6.21 average for the tempo then surprised myself to finish with a 5.57. Felt in control for that as well. 12 x 2 mins tonight before I have a crack at sub 18 at Parkrun on Saturday. Looking forward to it!
Stevie G said:
Nice one Phil - we were worried you'd retired to be a parkrun pacer! And good to see the healing ability running has!Need to get a couple of proper turnouts in now you've got a taste for it again.
Phil Malcolm Jones - put those sandbags down
If you've been cruising 22.00 out with a cigar on as parkrun pacer, you can take some sprint kid's sub 43 to town.
Maybe just sitting on his shoulder the whole way, and bursting past late doors, pointing at him chanting "Life....life"
I wouldn't write yourself off yet Jools! As you say you are carrying the glute injury plus a marathon takes a lot of recovering from, especially two so close together! Still a decent 10k time in the circumstances
Muddy - That's a great 10k time and congrats on the prize! Are you doing the Two Castles 10k?
SG - Cracking session, I guess that's mile pace for the reps? Masters relays this weekend?
12 x 2mins last night was a bit naff, couldn't seem to get going. Write it off as a bad day in the office. Just a few easy runs and strides now before Saturday
Stevie G said:
They were doing some stuff at the track, which caused some initial alarm, in case it was some organised event. It wasn't though, and using my little access code it was all good, propping the fence up with the cone (as there's no code inside, and I don't have my fob yet)Asked a geezer who was limping around "Not" to shut the gate, to be a bit bemused that he then went and....shut the gate...Propped it again, and it still closed...doh...Luckily some random workers turned up in a van as I was leaving, so slipped them the code, and we both got in/out, rather than me having to climb out, to let myself back in!Good to see the organisation for this place is still shocking!!
Hi All - Good value read as ever, very entertaining - good to see people supporting the local races!
Glad to see Bus and Reg getting better and Ric being thought provoking. Been doing bits and bobs, couple of Parkrun wins at Dunstable downs and Houghton Hall and a horrible chesty 1500m win at Battersea Monday night (Southern vets) - bell on 3.13 so virtually jogged in the last 100m, was probably about 4.25-4.30
Going OK, but don't feel amazing as such. Masters on Saturday - SG, the course is exactly the same as the short leg at the national relays for us, they made a point of saying that, so we can compare. Sadly we have to do the dog leg extra bit at the start, but its downhill at the Jubilee stone and the finish as normal.