Last night was the Back Cove 5k in Portland. This is run every Wednesday night all summer along the lines of the Park Runs run in London and Glasgow. You have to register initially to get a number but its free...all you have to do is turn up with your number before 6pm and race.
The course is a little less than the perimeter of Back Cove and is mostly dead flat (It raises briefly to go up the side of a bridge and down the other side.) The surface is dusty grit which is not the fastest surface but its easy on the legs and feet. There are very few distractions on the way round. Prominent in my thoughts last night were the heat and the dust and dry air as I set off on this thing. I'd already been running the night before at the Trail Monsters regular Tuesday night session at Twin Brook, which for me had been mostly an eye-balls out run in life-threatening heat.
Mile 1 went surprisingly well. In our warm up I was thinking I would be lucky to break 8 minute/miling but the first mile was 7.20 pace. I had started quite far back so I had the motivation of passing people for most of the first mile. As we rounded the cove I soon discovered that some of my fleetness of foot had come from a following wind and as it rounded into my face things slowed a little. At about a mile and a half I got in some kind of a race with an older gent who with his beard and stern attitude reminded me a bit of Alex Jackson. We swapped places a couple of times. A tiny woman in black bra and shorts went past and I could not respond. The bridge was at 2 miles so should have been some comfort but the last mile and a bit seemed a long, long way. In the final stretch I found myself next to Dominic who had introduced himself at the start of the race and told me he was just behind me at the Breaker on Sunday. I tried my best to get him just behind me also at this race and after a prolonged sprint in which to my surprise I did finally find another gear, I just pipped him to the post. It was a PW for me of just over 24 mins but I couldn't have worked much harder.
First priority was water and breathing and a little while later I spoke with some of the runners who had been around me in the race. As Peter (who was a creditable 5th) and Ian and I jogged up the road the Time and Temperature tower showed it was still 85 degrees.
This morning was spent bush-whacking on jungle trails with trail-monster Jeff. (sp?)
A day off running tomorrow is probably necessary in order to recover for a longer trail and hill run on Saturday. I am the slowest and every day is a battle for survival!