Summer League Race 1 – New Ellerby 5

New Ellerby 5 2016

My running club’s Summer League serious is some of my favourite races. In particular the standard distances of 10k, 5 mile plus the East Park 4 mile ( not so much the Hedon 4 as the wind can be leg sapping at that race). The first race is the New Ellerby 5 – a fast flat rolling countryside route. I was looking forward to this one but nervous as ever.

This was due to an indifferent start to the year and a marginally disappointing Vale Of York 10 just 2 days earlier therefore I wasn’t sure what to expect. Last year I had ran 30:11 and in an ideal world I’d love to have gone sub 30. The ultimate aim for all races is to go sub 6 minute per mile average for all races up to half marathon (which I’ve only done once at East Park 4 in 2015) but with the greatest optimism in the world I’m nowhere near that and for this race I didn’t think I was any where near 6 minute miling.

Onto the race and we were fortunate to have glorious weather, nice and sunny but cool enough for some decent running. For once I didn’t go off like a train, due to being unsure of my form I let a few people I normally stick with go. The first mile was still covered in 5:58 but lots of summer league races the first mile is covered 10 to 20 seconds faster. For example in 2015 the first mile was 5:43. I also decided to not use my watch and just run on feel, something which I often do(I’d still record it but change the display to a menu screen and turn off alerts).

As the race progressed a good group of EHH runners came together, myself, Lee Alcock, Danny Wilson, Chris Hodgson, Mike Petersen and also a Beverley AC runner. Unsure of my form I decided to sit at the back and just follow any moves. The group mainly stayed together with just Mike being dropped somewhere between 2 and 3 miles.

After 3 miles Lee made a move to breakaway which I tracked allowing him to take the lead. Chris came with us just a little way behind. The 3 of us was working hard almost in single file. We had dropped the Beverley AC runner and Danny.

Coming into the finish Lee had a couple of metres gap and Chris was approximately 1 metre behind me. I should know better than to let Lee have any kind of gap as he comfortably beat me to the finish. More of a disappointment is to be out sprinted by Chris. However I finished in 30:27 for 23rd place out of 235 runners, just 13 seconds slower than 2015 when I had been marathon training.  This year though I feel my race was much better paced, for comparison here is the splits from 2016 and 2015:

2016 2015
5:58 /mi 5:43 /mi
6:09 /mi 6:01 /mi
6:07 /mi 6:09 /mi
6:06 /mi 6:11 /mi
6:01 /mi 6:10 /mi

Considering the indifferent start to the year I was ecstatic by this result and return to form. Now I just need to find that elusive sub 6.

My wife was also running and finished in 40:43, like me she was happy with her time which is pretty consistent with races of this distance.




Vale of York 10 – 17th April 2016

Vale of York 10 2016

In the quest for a better 10 mile PB the next stop was the inaugural Vale of York 10. Thanks to Guy Gibson for bringing this race to my attention and also for chauffeur duties on race day.

The race started at an airfield (Gliding Centre) and this brings some very good benefits:

  1. Ample parking for all spectators.
  2. Plenty of space for Portaloos (and after picking up our numbers we didn’t have to wait too long).
  3. Easy to find somewhere to warm up which I did after previous portaloo stop. Guy on the other hand did the tried and tested “static” warm up.

My training into the leadup had been curtailed slightly, firstly due to our vacation (although I still did 50+ miles over 12 days), however the main issue was falling ill on our return. The positive spin on this is hopefully I’d be fresher come race day due to the reduction in volume.

On to the race and after a slightly delayed start we were off. The start was slightly odd as it’s on the runway and to make sure we complete the right distance it goes a good half a mile before a 180 turn and back past the way you started.

Once out onto the roads proper the race takes in the some very quiet country roads (you benefit from completely closed roads). As promised it was very flat with only a couple of very minor “inclines”.

The course only goes through a couple of villages called Healaugh and Catterton. This for me was the only downside with a distinct lack of spectators out on the course. This might grow as the race does but with its location I can’t see it.

Vale of York 10 2016
Vale of York 10 2016

Back to my race and after the week just gone I didn’t want to push it therefore pre-race I decided to stick with 6.30 pace for the majority of the race and sneak under 65 minutes. This worked well for the first 6 miles which felt very comfortable. However, it’s funny how quickly a race can change, from “coasting” along, the next two miles were under target at 6.38 pace. No matter what I couldn’t up the pace, my legs felt like they had no power. I can only assume it was down to still recovering from the previous week.

The last two miles were back under target pace (6.28 /mi) but by then the damage had been done. I needed to run much faster for the last two miles. I finished outside 65 minutes in 65:13 and only 4 seconds off a PB.

As an aside, 2 days later I ran the summer league 5 mile in 30.27 averaging approx. 6.05 /mi giving me confidence that adequately recovered I can run well under 65 for 10 miles. Maybe I just need a summer league 10 miler and a load of red vests to chase for a better time (how about it Pete Dearing!?).

Next up on June 8th is the Otley 10 miles which is a low key affair with only about 60 runners. As it’s an evening race I’m hoping I can replicate Tuesday night form when I seem to run my best times. If not then I’ve heard about a potential local 10 miler near Gilberdyke at the end of August that will probably be another bite of the cherry.

Guy Gibson – Vale of York 10 2016
Guy Gibson – Vale of York 10 2016

Back to the Vale of York, Guy Gibson is a consistent performer finishing in 1:14:32 for 165th. A time which he was very happy with.

If you’re looking for a flat fast early road season 10 miler then the Vale of York 10 comes highly recommend. It doesn’t have the hills of Ferriby and if it’s a still day like we had then much less windy than Snake Lane 10. I can see plenty of people setting a PB on the Vale of York 10 course. Also, there’s even some decent prize money for those that are fast enough.