Well the 1st race of the Tour is on us, and it looks to be a nice day for a change given all the recent rain!! Alexa (my wife) and my Brother, Kevin, who incidentally is taking part in the ‘Tour’ for the 1st time and his girl Karen all headed up to Giffordtown in the one car, arriving in plenty time to register for the series.
We were one of the 1st to arrive at the parking area, the grassy grounds of the local community centre, plenty room to get the majority of us in and parked. We both got registered, picking up our race number which has to last all week and our race memento; I’ll try and put a picture of this up later but it is quite smart.
This left us plenty time to relax and chill in the Scorching Sunshine, probably not the best idea given we had a 5 mile race coming up, but I was making sure I keep myself topped up with water. We both headed out about half one for an easy warm up, jogged out along the course about 600m and back again, that was enough for me! A quick bye to the ladies who headed out on the course with the cameras and we were lined up for the start.
Probably should have but this bit at the top of the blog, so before I go on I’d better say I’ve not ran properly since 30th June when I pulled/strained my right calf (and I was only training at the time!). I’ve managed four light runs and two races, the Brig Bash 5 and the Beveridge Park 5K, both of which were run very slowly!!! Lining up on the start I was a bit worried about what would happen, the next 35 minutes would tell…..
After the race briefing, which during the ‘Tour’ it’s essential you listen to it, we were off. I settled into a decent pace which felt comfortable at the time! Going through the 1st mile in 5:47 even felt fine, this was on two straight sections of road after all. The 2nd mile twisted a bit more and I clocked 6:02 over this. It was at this point I became aware of a ‘Harrier’ beside me, Steven King someone I had ‘battle’ with in a previous ‘Tour’
We stayed together all the way around the loop and down towards the 3 mile mark which I went through in 6:12, it was here that Stevie started pulling away from me. My lack of distance/speed training was going to start telling soon. The last 2 miles were back the way we had ran out and I managed to hold the distance between us going through four in 6:08. Caught site of Fife’s Bryce Aitken in front and thought I’d maybe be able to catch him, at the 400 to go marker I picked up the pace hoping my track training experience over this distance might help me kick at the right time, 200 to go, 100 to go… yep he looked over his shoulder and he did enough to stay ahead.
Went through the 5th mile in 5:51 to clock an overall time of 30:03 and 15th place, a much better than anticipated time , I just hope I’ve not blown the legs out on the 1st day. Finished 1 second behind Bryce, and 7 behind Stevie, could be an interesting few day’s ahead. The bonus was my calf felt fine, and is still pain free as I type, fingers crossed it stays that way….