Shona Taylor has been busy racking up the races over Christmas and gives us the following update:
After 10 days of not running a step Em and I turn out for the Lancashire xc Championship at Witten Park. The Chorley under eleven girls team get silver (she was well made up) and – highlight of my career – I get bronze in the V45 category (I did beat at least one other girl to this title)! I don’t often get my race strategy right but this time “run yourself in and then start picking folk off” worked a treat especially on the down-hill muddy bits where I overtook several and managed to stay upright – unlike one poor guy who got a great cheer on the last lap after taking a full frontal dive into the mucky stuff.
All fired up for the Garstang 10k on the 13th. Last time round I’d really enjoyed it – its hilly in parts with a short nasty at 5.5miles – so not an obvious flyer but somehow knowing exactly where you are and what’s to come means I don’t have to save anything. The temperature soared to about 2oC before the start – dilemma “what to wear?” Longs and I’d have warmer leg muscles but I’d think I was training; shorts and I’d know I was racing… shorts won and off we went.
It was chip timed this year and there were about 600 runners. The first two miles were spent ducking in and out trying to find a clear space. What’s the best way to handle a big field? Rudely push to the front at starting even when you know you’re at best a mid fielder or start way back at the back and let the melee sort itself out before you try to come past?? Answers on a postcard or email please.
Again found a nice rhythm – might even have been too comfortable in parts. One guy sat on my shoulder for the first half of the race breathing like he was going to die but passed me on a hill. Pulled him in on the down-slope – hah – then he overtook me again, tush. On the last hill he came to a walk half way up. Couldn’t beat him like that so I shouted him on and the whatsit overtook me and I couldn’t get him back. Staggered to a curb and sat down head between my knees, gasping, engendering the usual concerned “are you all right?” comments.
Looked at my watch and realised I hadn’t stopped it on the line but I must have taken at least a minute off my pb so yes I was all right! (officially clocked at 52:30 against 54 dead previous best). But the star of the show must be the blind lady vet 40ish who was coming in just over the hour on the arm of a guide man. Didn’t catch her number but well done that girl!