"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt
Thursday, 25 June 2015
Active Knowsley 5km 2015 Race Report
This was my second race within a couple of weeks, and another race which I'd completed before, so knew what to expect. Set in the luxurious grounds of Knowsley Hall (the ancestral home of the Earls of Derby) this 5km race was the first time I'd competed as part of a team.
Having cooked up some interest in work we had two 4-person teams entered, with my team including one of my best friends who I’d completed the MerseyTunnel 10k with a few weeks earlier. He’d never ran a 5k race before and so had no idea how to pace it, consequently he wanted to do his own thing. That suited me fine as I wanted to go for an ‘official’ sub 20min 5k.
The race started at 7.15pm on a very warm and sunny un-British summer’s evening. I wanted to head out fast to try and maintain a steady pace throughout.
The first half of the run I managed to complete fairly comfortably, and whilst a team mate had stayed with me for the first kilometre I was subsequently running alone – none of my ‘rivals’ had passed me at any stage.
Rather than helping me to relax, it did the opposite; I no longer had someone pushing me on to maintain my pace, which suffered slightly in the 4th kilometre as my time dipped to 4:08. The last time I completed this course the same 4th km dip occurred and meant I missed out on my sub 20min 5k. Would this time be the same?
I pushed on using the runners ahead of me to keep going and was pleasantly surprised when I saw the finish line approaching. A little dash to the end and I hit ‘stop’ on the Garmin…
..19:45, yippee! Officially back in the sub 20min club for me!
It was then just a case of cheering on the other 7 runners as they all came in. It turns out I get way too excited doing this and was soon bellowing each runner’s name to help them across the finish line (or scare them into thinking they were being chased by an axe murderer…)
My mate came in second out of the group with a great time of 20:53, very quickly (i.e. 2 seconds later) followed by our opponents’ first runner. The rest of the runners came in and it was fairly clear that my team was the winning one, but so made up was I with my mate’s time it really didn’t matter. “I’m so proud of you” I may have muttered more than a few times!
Final Race Stats
19:45, a time I am elated with, and a time that makes me feel like my fitness is returning, albeit slowly!
The race was great, well marshalled and a nice medal for a very cheap £7.50. My only (slight) gripe is that the race wasn’t timed with a chip, all by hand, and so subsequently I haven’t got the final team times, but I can live with that.
Whilst we’d light heartedly gone ‘into battle’ with personal pride being the prize, it was fun and camaraderie which were the real winners (major cheese fest I know!).