Oxford Sri Chinmoy Self Transcendence (Race 2) 2 Mile
May 11, 2015
Mark Franks' race report:
After going on a 8k training run with Stuart and David Troth through the farmers' fields around the Baldons, I decided I would go on a cylcle ride in the afternoon. I cycled to Port Meadow on my tricycle and walked to Godstow and had a rest; while doing so I remembered that I was planning to run Oxford Sri Chinmoy 2 mile race. I decided that as the Blackbird Leys Mile does not look like it will be held this year, it would be good to do a short race before I start my marathon training, which I am going to start when I get back from Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk at the beginning of next month.
I went home had a power nap and got distracted by the England v New Zealand cricket game on TV. Before I realized it, it was 6.15 PM so did not have the time to cycle to Cutteslowe Park for the race on my ever rickety tricycle; it was a good thing because I would not have done the race in the time that I did had I cycled there. I have worked out from cycling to Oxford parkrun that cycling there takes off about 30 seconds off my time.
My plan was to try and get a PB for the first mile split (which I knew was going to be recorded as I looked at the past results from previous years), as I had never done a 2 mile race before I had little idea what sort of time it would take for me to do a 2 mile race. I had a vague idea that it should be just under 13 ½ minutes. I got to the regstration 10 minutes before the start of the race, signed up and proceeded to warm up for my 1 mile PB attempt. When I did my 5 minute warm up I got some strange looks from the other runners as I was the last person to regaster and sudenly went into my manic warm up, prehaps I came across as lackadaisical or arrogant or even both!
I decided to start at the front and run aggressively for the first 500 yards and try and hold my pace. I realised I was probably not going to get a mile PB when I was about two thirds of the way around the first 1 mile lap and I was on about 4: 20 by my stopwatch. It seemed unlikely that I would go under 5:52 which I needed to do in order to get a PB. I was in two minds; my heart said I could still do it if I kicked on and my head told me might blow up as I am not really used to running short distance at speed. I am more long-distance runner, I am not sure if there is such thing as a 8 mile race but it would be ideal for me. I decided that I may as well give it a go as I had recetly done extra mile sprints around BBL park on top of my usual training load.
I crossed the mile line, looked at my stop watch and was slightly disappointed when I saw 6.02. I decided to just to carry on and see how fast I could do it. By 1 ½ mile my ankle was painful and my breathing was erratic. Not since my first race back from injury last autumn did I want to give up on a race as much. I dug deep and kept at it; I finished in a time of 12.28, 8th place out of 32 competitors. I can not complain about my time as I was only really trying to do 13 ½ minutes!
In short, I thought it was good low-key local race at a novel distance. As always, Cutteslowe Park is a lovley park to run around especially the duck pond near the start and finish. Nice to see familiar runners from parkrun and other local races. Can't really go wrong for a £3.00 attached club athletes fee either. Nothing fancy but well organised. Sadly, I am away on the 3 mile race on 1st June and I do not get back until the day before the 4 mile race a couple of weeks later otherwise I would have took part.
Credit toTejvan Pettinger for the photograph at the race.