Start of my 50 year by RUSS JAMES

Start of my 50 year.

So I started my 50 yr with 3 running targets.

1. Win the Herefordshire x-c V45 league series.

2.     Win the V45 County Champs.

3.     The main target, win a medal at the Midland Masters x-c champs in January.

My racing year started on NY Day with the WV 10K. A good run 36:42, first V45 and a team win for the Couriers with Eliot and Charlie.

Next to Monkhall and the best run of the  x-c season. First V45. V45 County Champ and 4th overall. V45 league series won with one race to go! Two of the three targets achieved, now for the big one a week later.

A week of easy running, foam rolling and wearing compression socks to try and get my legs back in shape.

The Sunday of the Midland Masters 8k x-c champs dawned and to my shock everywhere was white! A covering of snow.. I reached the venue in Wolverhampton and knew the course was flat and fast but this year was very wet and muddy…A couple of miles to warm up, a few strides and ready to give it everything I had.

The race started with a 100m downhill, a left turn and then a mile or so of flat land. One of the V35 guys set the pace as we took off from the start line, I knew I had to go off hard and see after 800m wear the other V45 contenders were. So after 800m or so of a very fast start I was in 5 place over all with one V45 in front of me. This is good I thought to myself, stay relaxed the pace is sure to settle down in the minute, how wrong I was!!! The pace if anything picked up over the next mile or so, I was running as fast as I could to stay with the leaders and making sure no other V45 guys came passed me. On lap 3 a gap had appeared and the lead guys had gone, three guys passed me all racing together so I tucked in behind them. Checking the age group numbers we had to wear on the back of our vests I noticed that one of them was V45, this put me into 3rd  in the V45 AG. Again telling myself to stay relaxed but running as fast as I could, I knew that no-one was going to pass me from now till the finish line, I gave it everything I had on the final lap, only allowing myself one look back with about 600m to go and we had a big gap on the next couple of guys. 400m to go and could I out sprint the couple of guys in front of me? So collecting Silver and not Bronze in my V45 AG…. The answer was clear, ‘NO’ I was knackered and had given all I had on the day. Crossing the line I had achieved my target and got a medal. 3rd V45 at the age of 49 not a bad effort, maybe next year a medal in the V50 AG but a different colour!!

So all 3 targets for the start of 2016 were achieved, time to relax a little.. No way! My spring targets are set; Sub 36 minute 10k and a Sub 17:30 5K. Then I can rest up over the summer before the big assault on the V50 AG from September 1st.

Happy running, Russ James