By Annis Turner
As a newer and slower member of LBAC I often approach club races with a slight feeling of trepidation. So I nervously signed myself up to run 3km as part of our ladies’ team. The race takes place once a year at Fairlands Valley Park in Stevenage, attracting many clubs from surrounding areas. Each runner must complete a 3km leg which is a scenic lap of the park. Ladies’ teams complete 3 legs whilst the men complete 5.
On what was luckily a nice evening, 8 dedicated runners travelled to Stevenage to take part in the race (Men’s Team: Elliot, Simon, Pete, Sam and Graham. Ladies Team: Annis, Lorraine and Fiona.) I had set myself two goals for the race: to beat my 1 mile PB (currently 8 minutes) and to finish the 3km leg in under 15 minutes (slightly risky goals considering I hadn’t run in a week). After getting lost on the way back from the toilet with Lorraine, I joined the runners at the start ready to run my leg of the race (the 1st leg). Having checked out the results from previous years I knew I wouldn’t be the slowest runner there so I felt slightly less nervous! I set off thinking that realistically I wouldn’t get my mile PB, however when I looked down at my watch to check my pace I saw the magical number 7. I started to push myself, knowing that if I kept up this pace, I could complete a mile in under 8 minutes. I stared at my watch as I approached the 1-mile mark, I was clearly huffing and puffing as another runner gave me some words of encouragement, to which I replied in excitement “I JUST BEAT MY MILE PB!” My watch read 7:55 but my PB euphoria soon disappeared when I realised I still had to finish the course with 0.8 miles left. The marshals and other runners (including a big cheer from Fiona) were really encouraging and the finish was soon in sight. I check my watch and I was still under 15 minutes so I decided to finish (what felt like) a sprint just to make sure. Based on individual times I finished 88th out of 143 ladies with a time of 14:46 which I was pretty happy with!