Middlesbrough 5k Road Race

As instructed after the race by our glorious leader (men’s captain Paul McGough), here is my race report for the Middlesbrough 5k (or the 5k Riverside Run as it’s now officially known as). 

I always like to get to these events early, so that I can park up not too far from the start/finish, stretch my legs and have a nice, relaxing chat with any club-mates or runners from other clubs that I know, and then a bit of a warm-up.  So, getting to the ground over an hour before the start was pretty much ideal.  Behind the East Stand, the sun was beating down and it was obviously going to be a warm ‘un.  Prior to the race, I didn’t mind telling people that I was aiming for a PB and that if I didn’t get it, they were duly invited to well and truly kick my backside (although I put it a bit more succinctly than that, in words that I wouldn’t repeat on the club website).  Despite it being the hottest day of the year, there was only the slightest of breezes, meaning conditions were about as ideal as they could be for a summer race as we got underway at 10:15 prompt.

The first km went a bit too quick.  After much nagging and mickey-taking from Catherine McShane and Paul McGough in recent months, a few weeks ago, I bought one of those Garmin thingumybobs that allows you record your runs and set your pace.  I’d set mine at 3:55/km pace, just a little bit inside PB pace.  Well, I got through the first km in just over 3:45, so I made sure I disciplined myself and eased off, keeping to the pace that I knew would get me a PB, but a pace that wasn’t too ambitious and that I could handle.  Thankfully, for the next 3km, I kept on that pace or slightly ahead of it.  I must admit, as we went past Middlesbrough College and into the last mile or so, I started to feel it a wee bit but knew I just had to keep it going.  Just as we turned onto Windward Way, Dave Watkins was there to cheer people on.  Dave’s been in superb form in recent months, so it was a blow that he picked up a calf injury the other week as otherwise he’d have been a cert for a fast time.  As we made our way back to the football ground, I could see club-mates Paul Levett and Mark Behrens up ahead. So as long as I could keep them in sight, I felt I’d be ok.  I was surprised to pass Paul with about 500m to go, getting a few words of encouragement from him as I did so.  Getting into the stadium, I knew it was the last 250m so upped it a bit more, though the two tight corners at the South Stand don’t help much.  After the last one, it was just a case of kicking for the line for the last 50-60m.  Getting over the line in 19:26, taking 23 seconds off my PB, just behind Mark Behrens and Billingham’s Steve King, and just in front of Paul Levett, I had to be quite chuffed with that, being anywhere near the three of them at the finish.

The race was won by ex-North York Moors athlete, Matty Hynes in a superb time of 14:16 (is that a record for this race?).  The first club member home was Paul Bentley in 16:04.  Andrew Dobson was our next finisher, breaking his 5k PB in 17:08 with Richard Fawcett finishing just 9 seconds outside his PB in 17:41.  In all we had 28 North York Moors athletes as well as Mark Potter’s son Harry, competing in his first 5k road race.  There were many good performances in very warm conditions, but a final well done to Andy Race (18:38), Mark Behrens (19:22) and Peter Gamble (19:39), Paul Bainbridge (20:47) for their PBs.  Mark took 26 seconds off his PB, continuing his good form.  Andy did really well to PB having just come back from a calf injury.  Peter won the Mens V60 category and in the process, also broke the club's V60 5k record, previously 19:51, set by Bill Ferguson in 2010.  Paul shaved a few seconds of his PB, previously set at a Park Run last year.

Results can be found here:

Mark Brown has added some photos of the race here:

Official photos of the race can be found here:

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