Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Raving about Road Relays!

Just a short blog to keep up with my weekly update.   In the week since my last blog I have done a load of quality runs (nothing spectacular I might add!) managing to log a solid 55 miles in the post race week and a further 33 miles so far this week since Sunday.  The gales have made for an interesting few runs with some interesting splits on my steady run Monday lunchtime (6.47, 6.51, 5.45. 5.51!). 

Tomorrow night I head to the track for a first track session in a few months.  After the disappointment of Middlesbrough 10km I decided to pick myself up and put some hard efforts in prior to a run out again over 10km in Sheffield at the Great Yorkshire Run in October.   As ever things change and now I am building in an appearance at the Northern Road Relays in Warrington on Sept 24th.   This means that my three week mega block of quality will be reduced to a shorter block of two and a half weeks as I reduce mileage for the Relays.  The best plans are the flexible ones!

In reality I know we probably dont stand much of a chance of qualifying for the nationals as the team we have going to Warrington are not the strongest on paper (and that is no disrespect to the guys turning out for the club who will be giving it their all I am sure) but for me the important thing is that we are there as a club and taking part in what should be a great event. 

I personally think that the road relays are a fantastic opportunity to race against top quality opposition, it gives you the chance to see some great race action and is a great day out.   There has been a lot of talk about the demise of the road relays and this really is a shame.   I wonder if we are becoming so obsessed with personal bests and accurate courses (the garmin brigade?) etc etc that the road relays are not as attractive because of the random distances...I think the warrington distance is advertised as 6.8km or something similar.   I have ran in the Northern six stage relays about seven or eight times now and have thoroughly enjoyed every one - some I have started as a Leg 1 runner and endured a fast and furious start, others I have taken over way down the field and pulled back a dozen places or more, others I have taken over from someone having a "flyer" and tried desperately to hold the team position!   The common thing in all of the relays was the feeling of being part of a team...the anticipation of seeing your team mate coming into the changeover area,  the feeling of every place counts in that mid section of a lonely leg trying to reel in the runner in front to gain a place for the team...oh and every now and again seeing a "superstar" fly past you on his way to glory!  Forget the times, the mile splits, the pb's and the "my garmin says that was 5.09km not 5km!" - enjoy racing for racing sake!

So well done in advance to all you club runners who will be turning out at Warrington a week on Saturday.   Keep the relays flag flying strong!

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