imageHi all

My runing club I joined in July are asking me if I want to race in the border league runs which are held monthly.  The next one is on Sunday, I have checked last year's results, and here's the problem, I am going to be last.  I would like to have a go at the races, because I know they will be good practice for me as I have entered the Chester Half marathon in May.  How do I approach these races, when they are for more professional runners? 

Any advice or encouragement would be greatly appreciated as I do not want to let my running club or myself down.



  • lol More professional runners !

    You haven't done one yet, there are all sorts of people doing the borders league, of all sorts of standards, Just go and enjoy yourself, and don;t forget to wear your club vest

  • As Dave says, get out there and enjoy it, there maybe other people are thinking the same who may be slower than you so you might not be last anyway, and if you are, who cares? image
  • Don't be put off by what you think might happen! We turned up at the Transalpine Run in 2010 (it's a pairs race) to discover that everyone (and I mean absolutely everyone) else was some sort of skinny whippet whereas we were two fat lads.  We thought we were dead certs for last place, but actually finished 171/285, which wasn't too bad at all.

    Go for it! Enjoy!

  • I don't do Borders League very often as it conflicts with my long runs, but they're very friendly, sometimes there's tea and cakes and stuff afterwards.

    Even if you were last, and I don't think you will be, you won't bring down your team place, and as there is a minimum number for a team, you may well contribute to a team score just by turning up.

    They are just the people you see at your club really.

  • See, Not just me telling you to have a go.....

    And as I sometimes remember to turn up, I have raced in the Borders League so I do know the standard.

    Won't be there this week, But I will be doing the Chester Half

     Little story, As you say you want to get better ?  My OH wants to go sub 2hrs for the Chester Half as she has never done so before... So she has joined the club training sessions on Tuesday night, and immiediately been pushed up a group, Right out of her comfort zone,

    after the first week, I got a load of  "I'm never doing that again",

    after the second week   "Well I wasn't at the back"

    third week ?  She went 30 minutues early so she could warm up properly so she could be in the top half of the group !

  • Turn up, have a go, and enjoy it. The races are there to make the training worth it. Someone's always last. I was usually last in cross-country at school. It wasn't all that bad, and it meant often meant that I didn't have to play football.
  • Thanks for all the positive replies, I will have a go and treat it as a training run.  Hopefully after the first one, the others wont feel quite so daunting.  Will let you all know how it goes!

  • Great - good on you!

    Never ever forget - even if you are the last finisher, you have beaten everyone who didn't run!
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    If no-one was prepared to be last in a race, there wouldn't be a race.
    In some situations the very fact that other runners know that they themselves won't be last keeps the numbers up. So last place becomes quite important/critical. Appreciated by all those ahead.
  • Remember running in the county champs x-country when I was 17. Came 18th out of 18, but got to say I raced against Spencer Duval, and say I was 18th best in the county!!!!

    Glad I did it. At the end of the day, running is great because you can be competitive at pretty much any level if you want, and even if there is no-one just in front or behind you, you can always compete against yourself. Running with/against better runners can cause great leaps forward in personal performance.
  • Absolutely - don't worry about being last.  I've been there a few times image

    My experience is that the people at the back get the biggest cheers.  Certainly when I've marshalled events, I cheer the people at the back the most.  The speedy ones do this all the time, but at the back I know it's people for whom this is a big challenge and that's what I admire the most.

    Also for us slow plodders, we get much better value for money as we are out on the course for longer.

    And exiled claret is spot on - compared with the vast majority of this country who spend too much time on the sofa, you are well ahead. 

  • And if you have the moral strength to cope with being last you are saving someone else the stress.
  • Thanks for all the really positive replies, I went to my running club last night and did 5 x 800m reps, had a bit of a break between the 3rd one and the last two.  My legs gave up.  I am now going to have a couple of days rest and get some running back in them ready for Sunday.  One of the guys at the club promised he would come back for me on Sunday, so that makes it seem a little less daunting. Part of me is nervous, but the other part is looking forwards to it. !!
  • Hope you have a great race    (So long as you don't beat anyone from my club image)
  • Don't worry about being last - I've done it, and there's no shame in it.


    Besides, under race conditions you can always run faster than you can in training!

  • Hi Beverley, Lovely day for racing up in Mold today, Did you race, did you enjoy it and how did you get on?
  • Hi Beverley,

     How did it go today?  I used to be like you and look up the previous year's results to get an idea of how many were racing / would I be last etc.  Several years later and I now realise that the last runners are cheered on just as much as the first runners, if not more so.  I still look at other runners and think they look so much more 'professional' than me but then I often end up coming in way before them.  I belong to a club but haven't coughed up £20 for a club vest, it may be though that other people look at me and think I look far too 'pro' for them.  image

    And if you were last this time, you won't be next time as you will no doubt improved just a tad by then.

    I hope you had a good run and can't wait to hear back from you.

  • Hi All

    I did race and I did finish.  I am not sure of the exact time, but under an hour and I think there was a couple of people behind me, so I did not come last.

    I wanted to try and keep my miles around 10.18, unfortunately the first couple of miles were up a very bit hill, and I am not very good on them, so I decided to re-evaluate and go for under an hour, which i did, around 57 minutes I think.  A few of my running club came back and ran with me to the end which was great.  I did enjoy it and the fact that I was at the end has not put me off.  I think for a first border league race, which was very hilly, I am quite pleased with what I achieved.

    Thanks to everybody for all the encouraging comments.

  • WHOOP!!  WHOOP!!!  Well done you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Well done Beverley - onwards and upwards image
  • Great stuff Beverley....

    1st thing I saw in my in box this morning was Marshallini, peeping out of a group photo from yesterday.. Almost put me off my toast !

  • Hi Beverley..

    Well done you did great!!

    Can i ask what club you run for ?

  • I joined Deestriders in July.  They have made me feel very welcome and are a great bunch.
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