Scottish 5k Champs race report – Vik Bailie

We managed to get a good group of EAC-ers along to this year’s 5k championships – particularly on the men’s side and the EAC cheer-leading squad was also out in force! Despite many of us having raced at the weekend, spirits were high before the race and I think we were all just glad that we weren’t going to have a repeat of last year’s heavy downpour.

I was lacking the high spirits of the team though after a painful stitch in the Glasgow 10k on Sunday had knocked my confidence and I was getting a stitch again just warming up for the race. It’s something I’ve always had problems with and I really didn’t want it in this race. So I took myself and my negative thoughts off for an extended jog and, after a pep talk from Garry, started to feel a bit better as we lined up to start.

With the thought of avoiding the dreaded stitch in my mind, I set off at a steady pace and let everyone fly past as the gun went off. I saw loads of girls pass me in the first 500 metres and panicked a bit – I was aiming for steady but I didn’t want to end up too far back. I could feel a stitch threatening to come on as I worried about my position and tried to not think about it and just to run within myself and relax.

As we reached the 1k point and a hairpin turn back towards the start line, I could see Dan doing well up ahead and a mass of EAC vests not far behind, chasing him down, including Jenny, looking strong as ever. There looked to be some good team running going on up front. And just as I thought that, Darren and Michael nipped in front of me and I tried to block out all the other runners and just imagine I was at a training session and just had to keep with them both and run as a team.

This helped as we ran back to the start line and the EAC support crew were in full voice shouting us all on. Darren by this point had eased ahead and caught the group in front which contained a few girls running together. ‘If I can latch onto Darren, I can catch these girls’ I thought and I just kept his feet in sight, trying to slowly reel him in. As I did so, I passed the first two female runners, which gave me a bit of confidence that my steady start might not have been too shabby after all.

From the 2k mark, I caught up with Darren and hoped he’d stick with me so we could work together. I could see a steady stream of girls up ahead and wanted to see how many of them I could catch. At the same time, I didn’t want to push myself over the edge and bring on a stitch that would force me to jog so it was all about finding that balance in the middle and running relaxed and within myself and getting my breathing right.

I started to pick up speed as we had the wind behind us but also seemed to be able to start reeling in the other runners ahead. As we turned off the promenade and onto the small loop at the end of the course, I caught the girls I’d been chasing down and I recognised the next two running up ahead as Jennifer Emsley from Central and Gemma Rankin from Kilbarchan. Both are class runners and I knew had also raced on Sunday so also wouldn’t have fresh legs. I was gaining ground on them fairly quickly and, as we got back onto the promenade and headed for home, I passed them and neither stuck in behind me which was good news.

I was enjoying the fact that, by slowly easing into the race, I’d saved plenty of energy for the latter stages and, with every person I passed, I started to gain in confidence and was feeling really relaxed and when the 4k marker appeared, I actually thought ‘heck we’ve got there sooner than I’d thought’. I could see Jill Knowles up ahead though and she made a good target for me as I worked to pass her at the 500m marker. Unlike everyone else though, she did stick with me but by this point, I knew it was so close to the end that a stitch couldn’t cause me any problems so I upped my pace and imagined I was doing a 400m rep at the track, and started counting my steps to the finish, which also helps focus my mind.

It was only as we passed the finish line that I saw the clock: I’d knocked 35 seconds off my PB with a 17:34 finish which I had to be happy with. Although then I started wondering what I could do if I’d had a faster start but I guess it’s always good to go home with thoughts that there’s still room for improvement!

The rest of the gang were all smiles at the finish as it was PBs pretty much all round. And, with a superb 2nd place and PB from Jenny so close to her stonking run on Sunday and Sue not far behind me despite racing two 10ks at the weekend, we won the ladies team medals (or would have if they’d got any: like the 10 mile champs they were bizarrely absent). Sue backed it up with another (imaginary) medal in the vets competition and a (very real) trophy for the vets over 40. Not a bad haul for a tired team!

Full results and photo’s at Self Transcendence 5k  With the usual great selection of photo’s at Roadrunpics.com

EAC Results:

Neil Renault 14.43  
Dan Clarkson 15.56  
Colin McGill 16.03  
Richard Meade 16.10  
Neil Thin 16.14 1st MV50
Malcolm Fraser 16.41  
Stuart Johnston 16.41  
Jenny Maclean 16.54 1st FV35
Ian Macdonald 16.59  
John Blair 17.13 MV40
Victoria Bailie 17.34 F
Sue Ridley 18.09 1st FV40
Darren Blyth 18.19 MV40
Michael Buhriz 18.29 MV35
Christopher Payne 18.45  
Sarah Scott 18.56 F
Kirk Ollason 19.06 MV40
Brian Howie 21.35 MV60

 

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