Soar Winter Warmer 3,000m -
1 February 2017
The London Marathon has been my main focus ever since I finished the Abingdon Marathon in October. I’ve been building strength, but done next to no speed work (not helped by the weather!). My wife is heavily pregnant and life is about to change forever! With that in mind I have set about racing as much as I can while I still have the flexibility. One event that drew my attention was the Soar Winter Warmer, an indoor track open meeting at Lee Valley. I was particularly interested as I rarely get the chance to race indoors and with my London secondment coming to an end getting to North East London won’t be very practical soon.
Although not conventional marathon training I entered the 3000m. I was put in the second quickest race out of the 4 being ran, that seemed perfect for me. My PB was 9.31 from 2015 and I fancied my chances at pushing 9 minutes. I chatted to a few of the other runners and they had the same aim as me (including Guy Bracken who was going for the V55 world record of 8.58).
The group flew off, but I was happy to sit at the back, first 5 laps flew by and we clicked on 2.57ish. That’s about the point that it hit me that I still had 10 laps to go and we were going pretty fast! I was still towards the back, but the pack was getting more and more stretched, I moved up to 6th about halfway and tried to cling onto the guy in 5th, it felt harder and harder. We went through 2km in 6.02 and I knew I’d slowed, sub 9 looked unlikely. I dug in and overtook the guy in 5th, then the 4th guy. Suddenly we had 3 laps to go and my dad was shouting that I could take the next 2 lads. I really went for it and gave everything I had. I overtook Guy and another lad to be 2nd with 300m to go. As I started the last lap the clock said 8.27 and I had to make a 32 last 200m to do it; I pushed as hard as I could and finished 2nd but knew I hadn’t made sub 9.
The official results came in a few minutes later, 9:00.95; less than a second away! Never mind, a big PB and a target for next time! I also won a lovely lightweight running cap for finishing in the top 3.