Monday, 8 December 2008

Scorching times at Victory 5 Miles Road Race

Left: eyeballs out at the finish. Photo courtesy of Sussex Sports Photography. Buy your race photo

While most of the post race talk was of a mishap at the start which meant we ran about 65 metres short of the full 5 miles there was much applaud at this year's Victory 5.

Near perfect conditions, a flat course and a competitive entry list meant that up front there was some hard racing and very fast running and my 23.56 was good enough only for 6th place. By the time we had completed a second lap of the running track instead of the outside cycle track a lead group of 5 had formed with aussie Russel Dessaix-Chin leading the way along with Mark Warmby, my Wells team mate Ben Tickner, Neil Gamester and Mark Draper. Hanging on to them were perennial fast starters Will Levett and Hassan Raidi.

A few meters back I was running with Ben Whitby and Phil Tulba in what could charitably be labelled the 'experienced' group. Before 2 miles we had swept up Will and Hassan while the leaders were starting to fragment. A tricky section through the IBM grounds slowed us a little as the we trod carefully on the icy paths which had yet to thaw out in the winter shadows. Back in the sun by 3 miles Ben and me were clear of our group and in pursuit of Mark Draper who was off the back of the leaders and coming back to us. In the final mile Ben had a change of gear which I was unable to match. But keeping going at a good pace I was able to get past Mark with about 600m to go and take 6th place.

Although the short course may have taken the shine off things for those who were after a PB consider that this was an event where you could enter online, by post or on the day up to the last minute. There are plenty of changing facilities at the HQ at Mountbatten Stadium. And with a slick results operation positions and times are posted on the wall by the time you get back from your warm down. For the speedier runners presentations are efficient and the organisers appreciate the value of an old fashioned 'brown envelope' rather than rubbish trophies ! And all this for under a tenner. If other races got as much right as this event I think most of us would be happy runners.

I was pleased with my run and clearly my fitness has moved on a long way since my last couple of modest cross country races. More on my latest training block to follow in the week ....

Men's Results

1 R Dessaix-Chin (Belgrave) 22:54
2 M Warmby (NEB)23:04
3 B Tickner (Wells City) 23:17
4 N Gamester (Shaftesbury Barnet) 23:18
5 B Whitby (Windsor SE&H) 23:49
6 A Marriott (Wells City) 23:56

Full Results
from Portsmouth AC
Race photos by Sussex Sport Photography