Welcome Tavern 5k by Shona Taylor

The (un)Welcome(ing) 5k

Tuesday 28th saw the first of the Welcome 5k series. I turned up in the usual place but its now “the Hunters”, three cars in the car park and a distinct lack of runners. “Hmm, I know I’m old and senile but I think its the right night…” Got out and a Wesham guy appeared who said “oh its been changed. Now its been done up they don’t want sweaty runners in anymore. You have to go back to the main road, over the roundabout turn right and follow the lane down to the end to the Vernon social club.” The right turn was down the descent to the first mile point of the old route. “Not sure its drivable – I’ll run.” Down to the end – which was quite a way. River. Pedestrian bridge ahead, footpath to the right, no sign of a social club. Hm. Ran along to left left and met a dog walker who directed me “along here, turn right and you’ll see the cricket pitch…” Think I took the wrong right. Hacked up onto the old railway line and in the distance, hurray, a cricket club. Finally arrived at the sign in after about a two and a half mile warm up, signed in, met Caroline and off to the start just in time… Where we waited for about half an hour for all the other lost bods to be rounded up. For future races the details are

Vernon-Caurus Sports & Social Club Factory Lane Penwortham PR1 9SN

The route now starts most of the way down the hill (~2/3 of a mile along the old route?), follows the usual route up the embankment onto the old railway line and round onto the old tram way as before. Now you miss out the loop through the housing estate but carry on back down past the start, veer left towards the railway line but this time you run under it to the finish. The day was cool and breezy but the only place you really caught the wind was that flat stretch from the tramway towards the railway line which was OK the first time round but harder work pushing for the finish. I used Caroline as a pacer from the start keeping just a few yards behind her to begin with. “Oh she’ll tire”, I thought / wished, “I’ll get her later”. The gap got bigger as time went on but I held on as best I could. She got within 13 seconds of her pb despite being in the running for a knee op – I trashed mine with 22:59 – 45 seconds better – thanks Caroline! For me the new course was faster – you get the hill over with earlier and having a down hill on the third mile when you’re tiring is just fine in my book.

See you there next month – if we can find it…

 

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