Race Reports by Jez Brown
Swansea Bay 10k – 19/09/2015
Two Buckley Runners raced at Swansea Bay 10k, as part of the North Wales inter regional Championships. It was brilliant to see Samantha Dutton being called up to run for North Wales as part of the women’s team, and I was very proud to be asked to represent the masters (old men) category. The annual event, which most years appears to be down in South rather than North Wales involves racing against small teams of East, South and West Wales runners within a 10k event.
The event itself was well organised, with a strong and large entry. I have been more used to smaller events of less than a few hundred, so racing in an event with 3500+ people including a few Kenyans at the front was a great experience.
More used to running over the hills and fields over the summer, this was my first road race for some time, and a shock to the system – the route was flat as a pancake, along the prom towards Mumbles, then turning back with the sea on our right. Ideal running conditions though some felt it was quite windy. I had forgotten how hard road running is, there is no chance to walk up hills, hide or slow down (particularly with such a good level of support all the way), and trying to keep an even pace each kilometre is tough.
As a team we didn’t get placed in the top three, there were some very fast runners in all the age and gender categories, however there were some strong performances and good times. There was a really strong team spirit from the team of 20 North Wales runners who competed, and to have two of our club as part of this was brill. Sam had a good run and a PB, and I was pleased to run exactly the same time I ran in a similar N Wales race in Cardiff 10k about 5 years ago – happy not to be getting slower yet, just feels harder !
Ealing Half Marathon – 26/09/15
No other Buckley Runners in this event, but not surprising for a race around the streets of West London, not a very local race.
My brother and nephew who live in Ealing had entered this race, and I tied this in with a family visit – and what a fab event it was.
It is a fairly new event, three years old, and each year it has been voted by runners as the best half marathon in the UK. I can see why, with it being reasonably priced for a large event (£35), encourages all standards, great friendly atmosphere, over 5000 runners, and really well organised.
Early start at 9 a.m following a 20 minute jog from my brother’s house to the start. My nephew took the better option of travelling by bike, especially for the return journey after pounding the streets of Ealing.
The race was surprisingly undulating for London, with a few gradual climbs – fabulous atmosphere all the way round with people lining the streets and parks, music, and a few points where we ran back down streets where those behind us were a few miles behind.
As the few Kenyans at the front sped away I tried to keep them in sight – that lasted for about half a mile, before settling into an even pace. I was pleased to manage sub – 6 minute miles, mile after mile, and having a newly gained respect for road running – it’s very hard !
The last few miles were getting nearer to the 6 minute mark as tired legs set in, I could see the park where the finish was, but still a mile to go, so though optimistically hoping for something in the 1.16 region, the route went round the park which seemed to drag on, as many others will recall from races they have done – the seconds ticking away but not getting much nearer to the end. I was pleased to finish under 1.18, and 30th position – first half marathon for a few years, not getting faster, but not too much slower, and a very enjoyable run – I would definitely recommend it if you are in the area or want to tie it in with a visit to London.