Written by Mr P Houghton, huge thank you for his efforts.
That man again, Guy Bracken, ran another storming race at the Sunderland 5k last Wednesday evening, and landed himself a new 5k road PB of 15.47. Brimming with a new found confidence after his successful parkrun debut, Guy ran a stormer and came home in 12th overall, in a very high quality field.
The Sunderland 5k is one of the few chances to run this distance on the regions roads at this time of year, and the quick course makes for a line up of the region’s best runners and a well subscribed race. On the downside, this also means around 300 runners jostling for early position on a narrow path, which makes the start a bit like a charge to the first fence at the Grand National. Unfortunately this year there was a faller, as Stacey Rogers from Wallsend took a really nasty tumble in the first few seconds of the race.
It is difficult to know exactly what can be done to help prevent this sort of thing, and it sparked some interesting debate after the race. Even when all runners line up in accordance with their anticipated finishing time, sometimes collisions will still just happen, and are part and parcel of distance running. It does pay to remember though, that even over the shorter distances, your race is not run in the first 100 metres. A start on the wide banks of the ski slope has now been mooted for next year, which has to be worth another 20 seconds off the PB…
Back to the race, Guy was again kept on his toes by regular training partner Graeme Cook, who had a great run and achieved a new PB of 15:51, only 4 seconds behind Guy. Graeme has been running consistently well this year, and a recent diet of fast track intervals and short recoveries have paid dividends.
Steph Dann was the Poly’s other standout performer on the night, with an outstanding run and a new PB of 18.10, getting very close to breaking the 18 minute mark. Claire McManus, fresh from a tough 13 and a bit miles on the Northumberland coastal paths over the weekend, also came home with a new PB of 18.37. A great set of back-to-back results for Claire over two very different races. Vicky Houghton was the third Poly lady home on the night, with an excellent run and another Poly PB, dipping under 20 minutes for the first time with a great time of 19.39.
Who would break this run of PBs among the Poly contingent? Not Chris Waite or Bruce Robertson (right) that’s for sure, who both pushed each other along and came back under the 19 minute mark. Bruce is a top all round athlete who has had an excellent season to date, and must now be in the process of sitting down to re-write all his targets for the year.
The Poly runners kept coming in, and the PBs kept falling, with Dave Williams and Alison Cummings both doing the business and coming home in great times. Roger Mosedale also had a fantastic run, recording a time of 22.02, and showing fantastic progress over the distance in the last couple of months. Noreen and Jenn Rees were next back with, yes, another PB for Noreen, and Jenn coming agonisingly close to hers, only 2 seconds off her best over the distance.
As many runners observed, when the official results were published, a few seconds seemed to be lost to the official’s stopwatch. Again, this sort of thing just happens in racing, and should serve as motivation to all those who ran on Wednesday night. However well you performed according to the published results, you know you have at least a few more seconds in the tank, and can put things right the next time out.
Last word to Mr Bracken, who is fond of reminding us all that “It aint easy out there”. He certainly makes it look it.
Results are up online at the following link.
Huge thank you to all our good freinds at Sunderland Harriers for a great event…..Well done!!!