Monday, 3 December 2007

Victory 5 Miles Road Race

For the second year running the superbly organised Victory 5 Miles was badly affected by the weather with 70mph gales blowing up the English Channel. While the times may have been rendered academic, the conditions made for an exciting race for a strong men's field including a host of internationals.

After last week's cautious return to racing in Leeds I decided to put myself in contention this week to see what shape I was really in and the result was a pleasant surprise.

A large group including Olympic finallist Mike East, Ben Noad, Scott Overall and Neil Speaight made the most of the tailwind in the first mile or so before heading into the grounds of the IBM offices where heavy overnight rain made underfoot conditions tricky.

By 2 miles I was still feeling comfortable and at halfway as we turned downwind I felt racey enough to go to the front and start to push the pace as I didn't fancy a sprint finish against a bunch of track runners !

It was great to be leading a top domestic race again and the mile I did at the front certainly broke the group up and it was quickly down to five contenders. Just before rejoining the prom Scott made his break and only Ben Noad could go with him. While I paid for my efforts Mike East also crept by me and opened a small gap. With a mile to go I was working hard with Toby Lambert to close the 10m gap to Mike but we just couldn't get there despite the strong headwind supposedly playing into the hands of the chasers.

By the finish Scott proved the strongest as he held of off Ben with Mike, Toby and myself finishing just a few seconds apart before the gap back to the bunch headed by Neil Speaight and Will Levett.

So a very encouraging run and I really enjoyed being in the thick of the action and actually racing again. This result has given me plenty of confidence as I head into a hard endurance block of training now to prepare for the cross country season in january.

Full Results
1. Scott Overall
2. Ben Noad
3. Mike East
4. Toby Lambert
5. Adrian Marriott
6. Neil Speaight
7. Will Levett

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