The Central Lancs 5K is the first race of the Central Lancashire Grand Prix race series. This yearly competition involves ten local running clubs who take part in races ranging from the mile to just over five miles, typically on paths and trails. The first race of the season is always organised by Bolton United Harriers and takes place at Leverhulme Park.
I had no expectations going into this race. On the Thursday I ran just under 13 miles at 7:38 min/mile pace. It was one of those runs that felt very easy, I was just clipping along and enjoying the ride. Unfortunately, the morning after I woke to a burning throat. My nose was the only thing that ran for the following two days.
Although I felt rough I decided that I was going to run. I want to have a serious go at the club championship this year, and this race also marked the start of the competition. So, still feeling somewhat weary, I reluctantly jogged my way through a warm up and some stretching before finding my place on the start.
The start of the race felt brisk enough, but as we exited the track for the park paths the banging in my head made it difficult to work out just exactly what the pace was; all I could do was concentrate on breathing. I’d decided not to wear any watch for this race and just run as hard as my bunged up head would allow. It’s an approach that I’ve written about before, and racing without a watch is something that I’m going to do much more of this year.
Watch or otherwise, this race was a struggle: I just didn’t have it in me on the day. The final mile was difficult. I had neither the legs, the strength or the speed to make anything of it. I was glad to see the finish line arrive in 19:44.