So I do realise I have to do a few league runs and support the road runners in my role, actually if I’m honest I do like road `now and again` if in the right mood but a good reason to do this was the Stilton Striders club standards. If you’re not familiar with them they are a great way of getting an award at the Xmas dinner (!) or simply a good initiative to aim towards with road running, pretty sure mine was the former but after looking I had only one race to do well in to get a Silver award this year for my (Young) age category.http://www.stiltonstriders.co.uk/club-standards/
`Snowdon legs` and not resting afterwards gave an old injury time to rear its ugly head and the previous Saturday missed the 5K Silver award time by a mere 3 seconds (which could’ve been avoided by tying my shoes properly pre-race) so it was all about doing the biz at Joy Cann.
This was my first time running Huncote Harriers Joy Cann 5 and the knee had been pretty dodgy the days preceding, so much so I wasn’t even sure I’d make it past the warm up. The biggest disappointment was how fast the race sold out, a mere 4 or 5 days this year something I hope the league will remedy as I’m sure a lot more of our club would’ve liked to have raced. Still we have a good field of runners from Stilton and its real shoulder to shoulder at the start line where I line up besides fellow warriors Shane Sharkey and Mark Stoneley, looking forward we can see Jason Barton on the front line with Luke Eggleston immediately behind. It’s a quick start, not too much dodging and swerving needed, I think sticking to Mark (who actually unlike me uses a watch) is a good idea and we go out following Alex Toll of Barrow Runners. First mile in and someone clocks 6:00, just for the record Luke did 5:35! The winner Stuart Spencer`s average pace being 5:00!
From Huncote into Narborough it’s a mainly flat course, I back off at any uphill knowing my downhill form is good enough to catch up and settle in just behind Mark. Big problems arise at 2 miles when my knee pings, I pull over and thought that was it as I’m on the verge doing a quad stretch, oh to hell with it, I start a hobble to run beside Shane and eventually get going again. Could this be magic? Nope despite making up so much ground, the knee pings again just over 3 miles, another long quad stretch and wait for Shane (who is having similar problems with his hamstring). Get going for the last two miles but it’s with a bit of anxiety, decent pace but didn’t push for the glory just in case yet make it back with a crowd of solid runners. Mark had a great run of 31 minutes and although my result was far quicker than I thought it looks like I’m 10 seconds short of my Silver award, bah! Still a 6:45 average pace for a bloke with a well dodgy knee and two stops I can live with.
Our whole team did superb, although myself and Shane were the walking wounded we both did pretty well, John Houghton had another stormer as did Darren Glover, Jason Barton cemented himself as a major player with 6th place and a 5mile PB. Really good course and `if ` you can get in next year it’s a good race with great potential for PB`s , if not see you at Huncote pavilion in January for the Hash! [Rob]
Full results: Joy Cann 5 website