Leyland Boxing Day 10k
I arrived at Leyland around 9am and quickly realised the car park surface was an ice rink. Runners were slipping and sliding at registration. I was quite surprised that nobody seemed too concerned, and the race was obviously going ahead.
I faffed around warming up, and stripped down to a vest 5 minutes before the race start, just as the freezing cold rain came on.
The race doesn’t start in the most sensible place. It chooses a narrow section of trail in the woods, which creates a boxed in sprint to get going. Not wishing to get tripped from behind, I started slightly quicker than I would have liked. A Preston Harrier belted off into the lead, with me tracking along in 2nd place.
Bit by bit I got hauled in until I dropped to 9th place by about 3km, although I still thought there were places to be made in the second half.
After beasting around Worden Park for the first 5.6km, the route finally turns out onto the main road for 600 metres before turning into Altcar Lane where I got stuck behind an ambulance dribbling along blocking the full width of the road. This meant I couldn’t see or chase down the runners in front for the next kilometre. At the next marshalled turn I managed to swear loudly enough to get the ambulance to pull over and let me past. Quite why the ambulance was pottering along blocking the race I’ve no idea.
Anyhow, I now had a clear run for the final 3km, and thought I ought to catch somebody if I kept working. But I didn’t. So I finished 9th in 35:44, which was exactly halfway between my 2 previous times at Leyland 10k.
Lancaster 4k (27th December)
I wasn’t planning on running the Lancaster 4k the following day, but ended up on the startline anyhow.
It was ridiculously windy, and unpleasantly cold, so I was virtually the only runner in shorts and vest.
The start was faster than I would have liked. Last year’s winner Danny Parkinson dashed off into the lead. I got jumped by 4 kids on the track, but soon passed them all to move into 2nd place. I then got repeatedly attacked in the opening 2km, but each time responded by moving back into 2nd place. I was fairly sure that if I reached the turning point in 2nd, I could hold it on the way back.
Unfortunately I put in one last effort just before the cone. I hit the turn too fast, and felt like I was shot in the back of the leg as my hamstring went. I immediately pulled up and tried stretching it out, feeling sick with pain and gutted that my race was over. I tried to shuffle run back to the start but realised that was impossible, so it was a walk of shame back to the start, with the entire field passing me, and not the best end to 2013.