Return to racing at Wellingborough 5 miles, 31 July

Ed: After my successful category prize in the Prestwood 10K, mid-Buckinghamshire on 15 May, injury struck on 23 May and the attempt at an early comeback on 12 June failed so took 4 weeks out and held back from racing until now.

The course of the Wellingborough 5 miles is familiar and mostly flat despite hills not too far away. As usual I cycled from Northampton rail station taking just under the hour with a couple of tough climbs and arriving half an hour before the start, I was feeling the effects. The recent calf injury that I thought was history was playing on my mind and lower legs. Starting a little further back and not anticipating an attempt at a competitive race (estimating a time of over 34 mins), I was feeling sluggish, however the long, flat and straight start soon changed matters. Runners around me had appeared to start quick and were slowing whereas I seemed to hold my pace if not increase it marginally. I slowly moved up the field for most of the race, passing some familiar runners.

It was surprisingly cooler than anticipated with a slight headwind it seemed for most of the race but warmed up a little in the last two miles. I was quite satisfied with how I held if not increased my pace and despite the stiffness, the calf strain stayed away. I was however fairly exhausted at the finish on grass. With the normal chip timing, there was a computer set-up to enter your number to return your time. I was surprised to learn it was 33.49 given the longish break. The event was also part of the Northamptonshire Road Race League so the standard was higher. I finished 71 / 344 and 12th V50.

Peter Simpson