Suffering from Rounders

By Adam Haylock

It might have been a Friday night, but before we could indulge in the usual frolics whether that’s beers, vino, takeaways or a posh meal out we had some business to attend too! This year’s 5 mile club championship took place in the pleasant Northamptonshire village of Blisworth. Fifteen Buzzards decided to end the week with this race. I’m not sure how I would describe a 5 miler, longer than a parkrun although shorter than a 10k, either way it’s fast and it hurts. This was to be my 3rd race at Blisworth, last year with LBAC and 14 years ago when I took part alongside my sister who at the time was a Wootton Road runner.

Thanks to my Mum & Dad babysitting, myself and Katie arrived in good time at the Blisworth Football Club HQ. The first thing that came to my attention was the smell of burgers from the BBQ followed by beer as we walked into the clubhouse to collect our numbers – a bit mean to say the least! We bumped into Tom Inchley who was only running to get out of packing for his holiday the next day! Others were soon to arrive, Club Captain James was eager to get started and put right his recent Cottisford 5k, Andy was whinging about ManFlu and a tight calf and Sam had just updated us on his latest injury. Not too much time to spare as it’s a good 10 minutes walk to the start line, it’s a nice stroll and we were chatting away commenting on the difference in shades between Tom and Sam’s legs!!!

Onto the start line, which is a narrow country lane, it was packed, I could see Ben, Tom, James and was pretty sure Andy was nearby. I wasn’t feeling the usual pre-race buzz and not that I am making any excuses…….but, my week had been very busy and included an intense rounders match at lunchtime the day before! There was a quality field but I was still hopeful of a decent place in the club champs and going on recent performances 2nd was a possibility. We got squeezed even further, with runners spilling onto the verge before we were sent on our way, a fast start is an understatement, this was rapid and we were flying down the hill.

The race is led in true country style by a large green tractor! I was with Tom and we were considering if we could catch it up! Soon Ben caught up and pushed on, “hmm he seems in good form” I thought. After a bit of mucking about Andy pulled up and immediately went past and took charge for LBAC as he moved just in front of Ben.

I couldn’t really remember the course apart from the fast start and the fact that it undulates. In reality it’s 1 mile downhill followed by 2 up hill (only if you went the wrong way – ed.). After my 5.24 in the first mile I was puffing as I approached the first hill, instead of catching Ben, who seems to spring up hills I knew I was in trouble and my pace dramatically dropped. Fast forward a couple of miles, the inevitable happened and Tom breezed past. Gutted, especially after he tormented me during three quarters of the Leg 3 during the Round MK relay. Stick with him I thought and I can out sprint him (I think). Nope, he was gone, chasing down the leading lady. At this point I realised how mentally weak I am and my race was over, I was hanging in there just waiting for James to overtake me. After the final drag and the sharp left turn I managed to pull myself together (probably because it was downhill) and pick up the pace finishing in 30.34. I was pleased it was over and enjoyed the free chocolate chip and vanilla biscuit.

I trotted off just ahead of the finish with the others to cheer home the remaining LBAC runners, catching up with Andy who had a solid effort and took the LBAC win by finishing in 13th place with a time of 28.34. Ben was next in 29.08 and Tom cruised home in 29.38.

James had a good run finishing 49th in at 30.54 followed by Sam (33.59), David (34.50) and then Amy the first LBAC women home in 35.04 and 9th overall. Katie continues to improve and recored a PB with 36.10, Chis Williams (37.16), Roger Seldon (38.27), Jane Sauer (40.46), Fred Watt (40.57), Fi (41.31) and Liz Miller (48.13) brought us home ending a very pleasurable Friday night. We took the opportunity for a team photo and then walked back discussing post race efforts and plans for the remaining bank holiday weekend. Overall a great night and great to meet up with the team, time for a few beers and then a parkrun in the morning.