Hook 6 (& if you are big enough - Hook 10) race report.
As `village fete` events goes this is one of the best - set in school grounds in the nice Hampshire village of Hook with BBQ going and all. I do enjoy this event – for the last two years I`ve favoured the 10 Mile race but this year I was back to the 6 mile and see if I could beat my 6M PB set in 2008 of...............51:12 (ok I was fairly confident of a PB)......
A bit of a late start (11.12) & I didn`t want to repeat the disaster of Maidenhead and warming up too close to the start so I got there early. I set off basically for one lap of the village as a warm up (just over 2M @ 9.20/m pace). Back to the car and after a bit of flaffing around I met up with Jock, Claire, Richard, Debby, Marie, Ray & not forgetting Luke from the club (who had the cheek to win the 6M race last year – yes a Cove Jogger winner)...and you wonder where the time goes before kick-off?? Dropped my bag in - nearly forgetting to change into my club vest...another warm up with Claire (0.5M @ 9.30/m) and made my way into start area. The 10 Milers went off 10 minutes or so before us. With a last minute chat to Luke on who he should look for we were off.
My race brief was simple - `Do not blow up` - I need to run these shorter distance event much better - Pacing is the key. I had written my 7:50 on my number to act as a guide. Plus this is the first of many short races for me. Also I wanted to make sure I kept a fairly short stride as I was wearing my racers. As we ran out of the school and onto the surrounding roads I was surprised on how many runners I was passing. My just after the mile I had sneaked up behind Claire. I gained a few places by not slowing down at the 1st water station – I had tried something new – basically I had a soaked sweatband on my wrist and used that to cool down esp. my lips as I was running – it seemed to work as it was quite refreshing. Anyway I try to pull Claire with my as we ran up the rise around 1.5M. I found the wind quite strong as we heading out of Hook & along the A30 (around the 2.5M point) – passed another water station – again gained a few places. Still taking it fairly steady – I was trying to shorten my stride and not land on my heels as I wearing my racers.
Just after mile 3 marker I was behind the 2nd lady & a fella, one of the many marshals said we were looking strong. The guy almost panted “Don`t feel like it” – I thought well I do, in fact I feel like a lion (!!!) and with that I kicked past them both looking for my next target in front. As we turned the corner I couldn`t understand why all of the runners in front ran along the left side of the road – I didn`t and I`m sure gained a few easy yards on the guy in front. I guess I could get him but I couldn`t see who was in front of him – I pushed the pace. Just after the 4M marker the lead car of the 10M went past (clock was showing 41.XX) – impressive. Back to my race we passed the water station – I grabbed out a hand – I wanted to throw it down the back of neck. I wanted to push hard up the rise at 5M – I was neck and neck with this guy....then I hit `traffic` – the back fun runners of 2.5M event. Through the narrow pavements of Hook – Matt King (10M) went past - another top 3 finish. Turned left and back towards the school – the guy in front had pulled away despite my going as fast as I could !!! Round the corner and into the finish straight and across the line. Hearing your name crossing the line is always good.
As I grabbed water I saw Luke and after I caught my breath back (after 5 mins) I told him that`s why I don`t these short races..however I was pleased with this one and as they say in darts – Good marker – bring on the BUPA 10,000 at the end of the month.
Yes near on a 5 minute PB & certainly a race of two halves (or halfs).
Caught up with Jock – who had won the 6M & claimed his 1st career win with an impressive time & course record (but I`m sure he will not have mentioned it) and Debby & Marie who both by admission didn`t have good 10M races – maybe this shorter stuff is the way to go................nah who am I kidding :)
Next up – well no surprise is the BUPA 10,000 on Bank Holiday Monday & the trip to the Lord Moon of the Mail .