With an 11am start and public transport available I decided to enter this 5-miler and meet-up with Stewart Boulton. Given the freezing weather I decided there would be time to walk from Coventry rail station at 930am. It took longer than anticipated to reach the entrance to Warwick University. I had been there previously by bike some years ago and thought the lights in the stadium would be easily visible and had checked the map in advance. Unfortunately with a number of options I took the wrong route into the university and despite finding the course markings and passing other runners warming up I ended up walking mainly around the perimeter for 40 minutes, arriving with minutes to go. In the end I was lucky still to have the opportunity to participate, starting about 30 seconds late, dehydrated and leaving my gloves in the changing rooms in the rush to get to the start.
I could see the rear of the field which was some relief and soon caught up and passed the backmarkers. The course consisted of a small lap and two larger laps. Once we reached that path alongside the stream it was bumpy and a little tricky passing runners. I nearly tripped up a female runner. It was then a procession of overtaking so a lot of the small field managed to see a VRUK runner passing them. I was not expecting to reach Stewart who has been making ‘great strides’ this year, setting personal bests for all standard distances and running faster than me on most. I managed to finish strongly despite the dehydration and soon met up with Stewart who had finished three minutes ahead of me. Our momento at the finish was a pair of gloves (one size ‘fits all’) which was rather appropriate with my left hand in particular quite numb.
Most of the runners re-grouped back at the clubhouse where there was a free hot drink and biscuit on offer but obviously no soya. Great to catch up with Stewart again. We stayed for the prize giving and a free draw for some spot prizes based on your running number. The results were displayed with Stewart finishing in a personal best of 32.32 (53rd) and me 35.39 (80th out of 184). Stewart gave me a lift back to the station but the passenger door jammed and I had to climb out of the driver’s side. Went for a warm down walk around the city centre which was rather in shutdown mode but eventually found a suitable cafe otherwise the only eating places open were the most undesirable!
Best of luck with your New Year’s resolutions, hope to see you sometime during the year or hear about your achievements.