I did good today readers. I've been quaking at the thought all week of this wretched race and had been developing a less than good mindset for today. Though I'd been telling myself it was only a training race I still felt a bit niggled that it was the 5k Northern Champs and I'm not in the greatest shape. Anyway, this pretty small but high quality field, (including a Kenyan contingent) meant that I could run very anonymously - some great names were there which allowed me to run with no pressure or expectation and just try to focus on a good race.
The course was a 3 lapper around Blackburn town centre with a surprising amount of undulation for this reputedly fast course. This proved to be a bit of treat for me though, as the eye-balls-out-pancake-flat style event is not my thing. Anyway, I lined up near the middle of the pack and set off with the gun, with a fairly relaxed smile on my face. The course seemed to fly by; the 3 laps winding and undulating frequently to make the run interesting, with the exception of some of the heavy winds catching anyone not huddled in a pack. I started well, with the leading ladies in touching distance, and maintained this for the first 2 laps, overtaking a couple of ladies and moving into 4th position. By the final lap these old legs were tiring and with a final push I managed to secure 5th place with a young Chester-le-Street lady overtaking me on the last quarter of the final lap.
I can say with some surprise that I actually enjoyed this race today and those that know me well will understand what a transformation it is for Runningbear to enjoy a 5k. I think I've developed a bit of a taste for the distance and am already planning my sub 17 for next Spring! The time was reasonable in the conditions and a PB at 17.37; enough to secure me bronze medal position in the Northern Champs. There. Demons slayed and a medal to polish too. Now off to tea at Tricky's for a good end to a productive day.