Sunday, 20 January 2008

Brass Monkey Race Report...

Normally on the day of a race my blog entry consists almost entirely of the race report but what an amazing weekend!

LBT awards...
Having been fairly 'silent' members in 2006 H and I took a much more active role in LBT in 2007, getting stuck in to the team relays, the Pool Triangle, Ilkley tri and the odd cross country race. They are a fantastic group of people and led by the uber-energetic Frank Riley have really helped H and I take our triathlon to the next level and in a short space of time we've made some great friends and found some brilliant training partners! We were both really honoured to be nominated for male and female athletes of the year... the inspirational Sara Riley took the ladies award following some truly brilliant performances including competing in the world championships in Hamburg.. and... I was lucky enough to win 'Male Athlete of the Year'!!! :) I don't really know what to say other than the fact that at 26 I was an overweight, over-drinking lazy student who struggled to get out of bed before midday... it just goes to show what you can achieve with hard work and desire.

Brass Monkey race report...
The Brass Monkey is without doubt one of the best races in England. For less than fifteen quid you get a super fast course at a great time of year, with brilliant marshals, a great venue and as of this year the best post-race goody bag I've ever had! Consequently it sells out within a day of entries opening in September and from the minute my cheque is cashed four months before the start, I'm jumping up and down with excitement at the thought of setting a new pb ;) This year I was trying to break 80 minutes for the first time which at an average of 6 minutes and 6 seconds per mile meant I'd have to push from the gun. With a strong headwind for the first seven miles it was time to tuck in behind other runners and going through five miles in 30:26 I was four seconds up and feeling great. I think the mile six marker was a little out but nonetheless finally turning out of the wind at mile 7 I found myself 25 seconds down and in need of a decent negative split... with every mile I was edging closer to my goal and running shoulder to shoulder with my mate Matt we pushed on, going through 8-12 in 6:02, 6:03, 5:59, 6:02 and 6:03 respectively... this put me only six seconds behind with 1.1 miles to get it back and as Matt was looking strong I knew if I could stay with him I'd do it... around this point though he pushed on and I just couldn't find the speed, a 13th mile of 6:06 meant with 0.1 of a mile to go I was still six seconds down... pushing for the line I could see the clock ticking... 1:19:50... 1:19:51... 1:19:52... 1:19:59... 1:20:00... 1:20:01... 1:20:02... DONE! I instantly felt a mixture of excitment at a great pb but dissappointent at missing out on my goal by less than ten metres!! As I'm always telling people though, if you do something better than you have EVER done it before you really have to celebrate... 30 seconds and a Yorkie bar later there was a serious smile on my face ;)

Reflecting on the race a few hours later I can't help feeling that at some point in the final ten minutes I subconciously 'settled' for a 'pb and less pain' over 'breaking 80 minutes and more pain'?? Maybe, maybe not... I felt like I was truly giving it my all... and I really am super pleased with such a great time... but in Germany on July the 6th I certainly can't afford to settle for a massive pb when a single second could mean the difference between qualifying for Kona or not... in two weeks time I'm racing in the Dewsbury 10k and will have one goal and one goal only... to absolutely postively squeeze every single second out of my performance and settle for nothing less than everything... watch this space ;)

There were a bucket load of great performances today, especially taking into account the very strong wind... H ran a brilliant 1:32 off minimal run training, EK again came close to breaking 90 minutes (your time will come... soon!), Ozzer ran a storming pb of 1:21 to move significantly toward his sub-3 goal in this year's London marathon, Daz ran a huge pb with 1:26, TB ran a storming 1:19 and change to again flirt with 1:18, Alan from Run Club came over the line in a pb of 1:28 with clearly nothing left (an example for us all), Ben G flew round ten minutes quicker than expected in 1:30 and probably most impressively of all Virgin Active Road Runners newest member and London marathon club place winner Ben Woodhouse finished his first ever half marathon in 1:21 and a bit... only 25 minutes quicker than my first effort!!!! Apologies if I've missed you out but it was all pretty hectic and by this time I was starting to freeze so headed back the car for some much needed warmth... WELL DONE TO EVERYONE WHO RAN TODAY ;)

Finally to today's picture... it's from the 2007 summer Tough Guy ( and taken by our very own Sam Allen... this coming Sunday AKJ and Flaps will be braving the gruelling challenge that is the winter version (I also did it in 2007.. nearly killed me... never again) along with Chris B from VARR... I'll be there cheering them on and suggest that if you've got nothing planned that day you come and check it out, it really is quite a spectacle. GOOD LUCK LADS ;)

See you in a week,

T ;)

p.s. just noticed that today's result was my tenth pb in ten races (if you include my course pb at the Great North Run).


Debra said...

Love the photo!!

Just been browsing knavesmire's website during lunchbreak and your official time is 80 mins and 1 sec!!

Also think you may be on one of the start pictures, if you were wearing sunglasses?? If so you were definitely more than 1 second behind the start line so you achieved it really, just a shame they don't use chips!

Tom said...

Cheers Debra! I never thought chips could actually help me run faster!!

Not to worry, I quite like pb'ing but leaving the door open to improve my a tiny amount and achieve another goal... all I need is another second or so and I'll finally break that 80 minute barrier... might be a while though as I can't see anywhere to schedule in a half marathon this side of Germany.

well done to you too for Sunday,


Chris Brown said...

Tom - Cheers for the mention! Fills me with confidence that an Ironman says it "nearly killed me" – errr…what have I got myself in to!
I am looking forward to it – somewhat nervously!
Hope to catch sight of you guys somewhere in the mud..;)
Great blog entry about Brass Monkey and an amazing time!

Tom said...

Chris - no worries mate... we'll be shouting loud on Sunday ;)

When the going gets tough remember that the Winter Tough Guy medal is something to be EXTREMELY proud of. It really is worth it... once ;)