Barrie Roberts reports: On a typical April Evening (heavy rain showers,wind and the occasional glimpse of sunshine) I journeyed down to Weston – S – Mare to take part in a 5 mile road race. I haven’t raced 5 miles this year and was keen to have ‘a competitive run out’ over that distance.
The Weston Prom Runs are an annual series of 9 five mile races and cover two laps of the famous Weston – super – Mare promenade. Prior to the Start I was able to have a run/warm up’ on the Promenade and then ensure a good position on the Start Line.
The Start took place on the Promenade,opposite the Pavillion Bar on Weston Sea Front (near Knightstone Island).The Race HQ was based at the Pavillion Bar and was organised by Weston AC and held under ARC rules. The Race started promptly at 7.30pm following the pre-Race briefing. The Race was dedicated to a runner who had run in the previous race a month earlier but had sadly since died.
The Great Britain athlete Jo Pavey was introduced to her fellow runners prior to the Start and was wished well for her Olympic aspirations. I was keen to get away quickly and so was positioned very near the front ie. just behind Jo Pavey’s left shoulder.
The Course consisted of 4 lengths, anti-clockwise, of a one and a quarter mile approx. long ‘sausage’ —- with a slight modification ie. a straight at the Start and Finish.
The heavy rain had ceased by 7.30pm but had left things somewhat wet underfoot. There was a north-westerly breeze.
I got the start I had planned for and soon settled down to a race rhythm. Jo Pavey and Co soon disappeared, but I ran at what I believed was an appropriate pace.The sun came out and it got drier underfoot;the wind increased slightly —- but pleasant running conditions.
I shouted words of encouragement to Jo (not that she needed them!), as she passed me going in the opposite direction. I think that I got to the half-way mark ie.one complete sausage completed, in about 00:23:45, and then proceeded to repeat the exercise. I thought that I ran the final one and a quarter miles quite quickly but I suspect that the strengthening wind and my lack of core fitness may have taken its toll!
My finishing time of 00:47:50 was my quickest for the 5mile distance since 2008. I think that I was second in my age cat. Jo Pavey FV35 from Exeter Harriers completed the 5 miles in a time of 00:26:31
All standards of runners participate. eg. 15 runners were under 30 mins. 6 runners were over 50 mins The Prom Runs are well supported by the clubs in the South West. I enjoyed running in this well organised event and Weston AC are to be congratulated. I hope to return.
Full Results (PDF).