The 5th and so it turned out to be the last XC race began the month, Hadleigh with the hill we all love to hate, We all felt for the juniors as rain, sleet, snow and wind attacked them from start to finish, but Michael and Harrison ran well and finished strong. For us it was sadly our worst turnout of the season, and although it’s not been our best year we were consistent in finishing 4th in four of the 5 races and I would like to congratulate Martin Owen, Mark Ross, Paul Carlisle, Ben Ficken, Dave Goldsmith and Russ Sharp for running them all.
With Hadleigh now promoted to pool A, we will need as many of you as possible pulling on your blue vests in order for us to maintain and build on this years position.
A few brave souls went on to finish there XC season with the Nationals at Parliament Hill, a tough, hilly course on a Summers day, but in February with temperatures above freezing it quickly becomes a quagmire, I’ve run the course a few times in various conditions but from the reports I’ve had this was one of the worst! A huge well done Ben, Phil, Andy, Paul and Scott for representing our club, I hope it hasn’t put you off XC for good as the 53-12 courses will seem a doddle now in comparison.
Our Bentley half once again proved a great success, standing out as a runners race made by runners, the feedback has been excellent and you should all feel a great sense of pride for being part of it. Everybody who was their played their part, the catering was superb, the hall was super efficient and the effort that Russ, Paul C, and Rodger put in to create the race is fantastic.
The conditions could not have been better for running and even for those marshalling it was pleasant. I was delighted for Ben on achieving a silver standard and a big pb, Paul Hollidge for he’s Bronze, Malcolm wasn’t far off he’s best time, Ade went sub 1:45 for he’s 1st half, a lot more to come from him I feel. Martin and Luke literally hopped, skipped, and jumped there way around, great picture guys, and Phil who may have been beaten by he’s sister in law, and gone virtually unnoticed by Vicky, still managed a pb. Well done guys I’m sure the support you received made it a very special day.
Time for the long races to begin and eight of you went to Tarpley, great to see Des back in action in the 10 miler, along with Frank who collected another Bronze standard, in the 20 the highlights were pb’s and Bronze standards for Jamie and Shawn, a pb for Martin, Luke’s 1st time at this distance, and both Kevin and Charlie consolidated their marathon training with solid runs. In other races John Bush knocked 2 mins off he’s park run pb, nice to see all that hill training is paying off, Mark C also smashed he’s 10 mile pb on a race track, and Gary Hill scored a cracking 6 minute pb at the Hampton court half.
So a short month comes to an end, with many of you in training for a spring marathon, I would just like to suggest that you consider shaking up your long runs a little in March, with a solid base now behind you, its good to experiment now while you can with your long run pace, We don’t do 26.2 mile training runs for obvious reasons, but so many of us breakdown in the last 4 or 5 miles of a marathon, but if you plan to pick up the pace in the last few miles of your long run, or last 10 to 15 minutes, or even go out to run the 2nd half slightly quicker than the 1st half, it will help you to start slower, and train your body to work hard on tired legs, the confidence and self belief this can give you, will go along way to helping you keep going when the body is hurting and you need that mental toughness to get the job done.
Finally to runner of the month, this guy has run all the cross country’s, scored for the club in every race, has started the year with some solid performances on difficult courses, Benfleet, Brighton, and Parliament hill, not to mention a trail marathon on new years eve, and finally after a few attempts got he’s silver standard, along with a 4 minute pb at the Bentley half, he’s been around a few years now and yet is still so young with so much potential to improve, especially when running in trainers! So congratulations to Ben Ficken my runner of the month.