The Christleton 5k is a fast course and on Friday I ran it for the first time. Here's how it unfolded.
The gun (read: horn) went off and I was stuck behind a couple of runners who were too slow. Immediately I lost some time and then ran diagonally to get to the right side of the road. Being in clear air was more important than being on the shortest line.
I settled in and found a group, feeling comfortable. First split was 3:15, about right considering the fast start. The 2k split was near to the school where there was plenty of support. It was 3:20, right on. The third split was slower due to the people in front slowing. I had to make a conscious effort to up it, to go through in 3:26, but I knew I had time in the bank.
The field was thinning out as we crossed the start line just after 3k. I went through in 10:01, and still felt okay. I had to hold back for as long as possible to ensure I didn't overdo it, and ran a 3:24; again too slow. Thinking of Capenhurst where I ran a 3:13 last split, I started to push on towards a Wilmslow and Bolton pair ahead. They had about 3-4 seconds on me.
As we turned the corner which led us back onto the final stretch, I knew there was nobody right behind me, and glanced at my watched. 600 m to go, but possibly too early. I focused on closing the gap, but had to dive onto the pavement as a car pulled out next to the two runners ahead.
I could see them both racing now, with the Bolton runner pushing a few seconds ahead. About a second separated myself and the Wilmslow guy with 400 m to go, so I stepped it up and comfortably overtook him. My legs felt good considering the faster pace over the last 400 m and I accelerated more, closing the gap to the Bolton runner somewhat and coming in just behind.
The final time was 16:43, 19 seconds off my PB, and my second 5k race. I hope that by sorting out my 3k and 4k splits, I can knock 10 secs off and go close to if not under 16:30 next time.
As I write this two days later, I've run 8 miles at 6:58 pace (Sat) and 10.18 miles at 6:46 pace (Sun). My legs feel as though I haven't raced! Looking forward to a chance to run a 10k and a 5 mile, as well as 1500/3000 m track races at some point.