Sunday, 7 November 2010

Highs and Lows

The Stunning Pontefract Park lake

I'm on a high today!

Lyndsey put it in a nutshell as we stood chatting (after our warm up of course) waiting for the 11:00 am start of the first of the season's Peco Cross Country League races. She recounted how she hadn't said anything, just got up and got ready to come and take part, her husband had questioned her as to why she was doing it, because, she said although she really hated the thought of cross country and questioned herself whilst running it, afterwards it gave her a real sense of achievement, my sentiments exactly you may recall!

Hosted by Ackworth Road Runners and AC, today's race was held at the stunning Pontefract Park which has a racecourse, golf course, numerous football pitches and a beautiful lake. Idyllic.

So upon getting kitted out to set off and meet fellow team mates to travel to the Pontefract region I got out my club vest, should I put something underneath? I asked myself, recounting last weekend's Guy Fawkes, I had put a long sleeved top under the club vest and was far too hot for the most part of the race, 11 am start, it will have warmed up by then, so off I trot in only the vest. Waiting at the start it was absolutely freezing, my feet were cold, my hands were cold. I began to think I was going to stand out like a sore thumb once I took off my jacket as everyone seemed to be well wrapped up,gloves, hats and long sleeves a plenty, I had surely made the wrong decision hadn't I?

Minutes into the race, the sun was beating down upon us although I felt really comfortable, I had made the right decision!

Apart from there being only a narrow path through the fields of crops (winter cabbage I think!), well trodden out by my faster predecessors, making it quite tough going on the old ankles, I thoroughly enjoyed the race, finishing 86th out of a field of 113 ladies - not bad at all considering I had had doubts as we walked to registration and I actually turned to Shirley and said 'they all look like die hards'! An amazing race set in amazing surroundings, if Ackworth decide to host a race in next year's series, at the same venue, I'll be first in the queue!
The only downside to the day was we didn't manage to field a ladies or a men's team, we were one lady short and three men, but hey we all had a great day.
Here's hoping my account of the day to fellow club members will tempt them to some of the four remaining races.

Meanwhile a low point to the day has to be the news that marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie has announced his retirement from athletics. Haile made the announcement after dropping out of his first New York Marathon after 16 miles with a knee injury saying "I never thought about retirement. But for the first time, this is the day". As a runner at any level one cannot help but echo the words of Sebastian Coe: He is the greatest athlete of the last 50 years and arguably the best of all time. I'm just pleased one of the highlights of standing at the finish line at this year's Great North Run was a chance to see the great man himself win....

For me, retirement is not on the cards just yet as I try to stick to the goals I have set myself, first off I have a session with Peter May on Thursday, should I really be looking forward to it?

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