HARVEL 5 2009

Another of my favourite races. I did this one alone, driving down early to another Kent Village. Organised by the Harvel Hash House Harriers which meant beer at the halfway drinks station (I passed) and true to its name it was five miles. The start was out on country lanes, then there was a trail section and a short scramble up a bank. Finally back onto the country lanes to the finish. The timing clock was a tractor driven into place by the finish line with the clock mounted up on top of the rollbar. I was wearing my super short split racing shorts, I think I just about got away with wearing them and my Palma Marathon T Shirt. Just before we set off I heard a woman nearby talking to her mate - 'what's your target?' 'I want to break 35 minutes'. This sounded good to me. Off we set and I got into a good groove. I seemed to over my chest infection and we'd made some changes to our training in 2009 as we learnt a little more. I was in good shape and we went through the trail and bank sections. Then back onto the lanes for the run in. With about a mile to go I saw the woman I had heard at the start just up ahead. It was starting to hurt as it should but I decided if she could break 35 minutes, so could I so I used her as a pacer to the line finishing just ahead. I thanked her for her unwitting assistance in the finish chute and went to sit on the village green with a drink and a piece of cake. The timing clock had a fault which I suspected at the time but was confirmed later by email - it was reading about a minute too fast but was all corrected and I had sneaked inside the randomly discovered target with 34.56, one of the only races of any length I've done at under 7min/mile paces. It's all relative of course, it's slow by good club runner standards, decent by other yardsticks and not bad for my age category (50+) but in the end you are competing with yourself. Anyway it was lovely to relax in the post race atmosphere before heading back home.

Out on the road

Final run in