quite what possessed me to run in a 3000m race five days after my first Ultra I don't know... nevertheless I'm always up for trying something different and i guess this was different! I'm not a track runner. In fact I can't actually remember the last time I ran competitively on the track... it was probably at secondary school.
The event itself was called the 4 DA's challenge and was something organised through work. They were despriate for runners to compete... well they would have to be to ask me! It was a low key affair, and friendly to boot. With four Government departments battling it out to see who could take gold. I think Defra are the reigning champions. I was representing DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government).
I arrived at 1pm with plenty of time to warm up on this sunny afternoon in North London. However not knowing the start times for the different events I soon found out that the 3000m was not due to start until 4pm. Such a long wait wasn't very appealing so I decided to past the time and run in the 800m too. This way I could check out the competition as most were running in multiple events, whilst also getting my race legs on. The gun went and the pack fired off at a tremendous pace and not one I was use to. But I wasn't about to to make the classic mistake of trying to stay with them so I plodded along at my own pace in last place just hanging on to the back of the second pack whilst the first pack of 4 runners stormed ahead. In the second lap I could see those in front were tireing, and with that I pushed a little harder, caught up, and passed 3 runners in the final 200m. I was happy with that. It was never about featuring in the race but about getting the pace right which I did so job done. Finish time was 2min 32secs
The 1500m was next, but I decided to take a pass on that and save what had for the 3000m which soon came around. The 3000m was run with men and women which provided a good mix of all abilities. About 20 runners in total. This was 7 1/2 laps around the track with a horrible head wind on the back straight. The gun went and we were off. It went much like the 800m with the leaders soon shooting off at an unsustainable pace (for me). I'd already made the decision before the race to try and run a consistent 6 min/mile pace (aided by my garmin) and so I stuck to this plan, which really paid off. As the laps wore on I started to pick off runners, and this spurred me on. One by one another fell as I kept the pace going to the end with an average of 5:45min/miling. I finished in 5th place in 10min 51secs which I was well happy with. Not bad for a non-track runner I thought.
This was an good experience and one which I thoroughly enjoyed. However mostly because it was different. However the thought of swapping this for my long runs on the woods is not so appealing!! So back to the normal routine at the weekend :-) Just waiting for next weeks training schedule from my coach Mad Dog.