Report from Howard Jeffrey:
I kept ticking over last week with swimming and the weather was good enough to get out on the road bike a couple of times. The breeze was still a bit chill and a headwind for the return legs made for a harder workout than on the turbo. Yesterday for the Leeds race series was another parkrun at Rothwell so I was able to push a bit harder and managed a solid 22.01 and another uncontested finish in the series. The intention today was to follow that up with a hard workout at the Wakefield 10k. They had advised that there were now allocated start times and I was in the first batch for the sub 45’s. This is a very sensible arrangement and was pretty well respected although there are always a few who are ‘over optimistic’. The day was quite chill and because you had to be walked to the start in order which took 25 minutes I was conscious of feeling quite chilled. Had my sunglasses on though so managed to look as well as feel cool!
I stationed myself a few yards behind the 45 minute pacer and after the gun went he pulled away at what seemed a high rate of knots and I waded through the invisible treacle to not lose sight of him completely. It was going to be one of those ‘mental toughness’ testers again today as I was dismayed to find no zip in the legs at all. I got to 1k in 4.35 which was not far off pace and I thought I might be able to pull back the deficit when and if I warmed up. The route is best described as undulating and goes out and back along a closed road out of Wakefield from Thornes Park. There is a drag up to 3k then a short descent followed by a long drag up to the 5k marker. I had not realised how long it was till we were going down it on the return leg. There was quite a stiff breeze to contend with towards the turn point which was a few hundred metres after the 5k marker. I snuck a look at the watch at the turn and the time was 23.40. So I was probably a minute down on what was the target time for today and the 45 pacer was still a speck in the distance. I was really glad of the tailwind to blow us back to the finish and had settled into the discomfort zone for the last 4k. I still have a month or so to knock another two or three minutes off today’s 10k time which is what I need to be competitive at the end of April in the sprint duathlon where the runs will be 5k and 2.5k or put another way, a 20 minute 5k. If I get some solid training in over the next month and taper effectively I can do it I believe. Today I was 2nd in my current age group about 4 minutes off the pace but only 2 minutes off the next age group pace in which I am racing the duathlon. So I think today was a hard day not at the office for everyone. The race was won by Joe Sagar of Spenborough ac in 32.05, first lady Rebecca Winter of Ackworth AC in 20th place (only 10 seconds ahead of 2nd female so a ding dong there). I flew the club colours alone and came in 204th in 45.36 out of a field of 1723 finishers.