Wednesday 23rd March -Even Splits Leeds 5k and Club Championship

Wednesday 23rd March -Even Splits Leeds 5k and Club Championship

Report from Simon Quin

After a glorious and warm spring day it was looking like conditions would be excellent for the Even Splits Leeds 5K and Club Championship race at the Brownlee Centre. The warm day gave way to a pleasantly cool and still evening, which was a nice contrast to last month’s wind and freezing rain. 

As usual the race is split into two heats based on an expected finishing time of under or over 20 minutes. The slower finishers set off first at 7.15pm with the faster runners starting at 8pm. Each runner scores points for their club just for taking part with bonus points for podium places.

There were only four Otley AC runners racing, with two in each heat. Edward Hobbs and Stephen Morris would run in the later heat, while Gavin Burton and I would run in the earlier one. Over 160 runners took part in the races in total with many other local clubs well represented. 

The start line was a bit of a scrum with a return to mass starts and people trying to find their place in the pack, I tried to make my way to the front of the group as quickly as possible as everyone started to get strung out along the first incline. I felt pretty good after the first lap nerves had settled down and wondered if I might be on for a decent time, especially with no headwind on the back straight to contend with. After a relaxed second lap, with 13.5 minutes on the clock, I thought I should see what was left in the tank and pushed it for the final mile. The effort paid off and I was amazed to see 19.20 on the clock as I neared the finishing line. My chip time was a new personal best of 19.22, knocking over 20 seconds off my previous! Gavin wasn’t far behind me in 20.17.

In the later heat, Edward Hobbs got a fantastic 5th place finish in a great time of 16.17, with a good run from Stephen Morris in 17.31.

Well done to everyone who took part!

and additional comments from Stephen Morris:

To add a few of my own words: Agreed, conditions were pretty decent, no wind and a balmy 11 degrees (on the car thermometer!). In the A race it was noticeable how many more people were there this round.I feel since the pandemic, I am starting to get much better at racing and finding my form, which is coming back to an unprecedented level based on recent results.

I had to take almost 12 months off last year due to a back and hip problem. But adding some daily yoga and flexibility work, plus building myself back up with a focus on form is clearly working wonders for me. I also barely run on roads anymore, usually trial or moor runs for me now.

Most people won’t know my history, but I have only been running ‘seriously’ for about 5 years. I mainly played team sports in my 20s and all this running business is still quite new to me.I was going for sub-18 again, and felt pretty good all the way round. Trying to run as hard and as even pace as possible (it’s called even splits for a reason, right?). The race clock was 12 minutes after 2 laps, and as I came into the final 100 metres I could see it’d only just ticked over to 17 minutes!

That was a huge boost and I had enough left to get over the line in 17:31. A huge PB by 27 seconds, I can still hardly believe it.So, all in all another great evening a the track. I am starting to wonder now whether I’ll be able to come close to this again, who knows?

Leeds HM is the target race for me which is only about 8 weeks away now. My PB there is 1:23, so hopefully will be close to that. It was also nice to chat to Edward (and I’m presuming Dad) after the race. What an inspiring run from him.

Full results are here, Entry for next month’s race is here 

Male Results
1Nathan EdmondsonIlkley Harriers15:09
5Edward HobbsOtley AC16:17
30Stephen MorrisOtley AC17:31
66Simon QuinOtley AC19:22
91Gavn BurtonOtley AC20:17
Female Results
48Kate PughOswestry Olympians18:13

3 thoughts on “Wednesday 23rd March -Even Splits Leeds 5k and Club Championship

  1. I enjoyed reading both reports from Simon and Stephen , it is interesting to know that you could struggle with a hip issue at such young age and being slim too . Junior Edward H. had a fantastic run in this 5k circuit ( in the same place I remember doing a West Yorkshire Cross Country 20 years ago ) Edward crossed the finish line in a very fast time 16.17 . Congratulations to Simon Q. for his new PB. done with a great performance , he finished in a robust 19.22 . Also new member Stephen M. had a good run , Congratulation to him for the new PB achieved with a super finish 17.31 . Gavin B. too had a superb race finishing in a fast heat 20.17 .

  2. Thanks Antonio.

    I think in the end I ‘self diagnosed’, with the help of an osteopath, as having sacroiliac joint dysfunction in Nov 2020. I think this happened after straining a hamstring whilst cycling in April 2020 (early in lockdown), which in combination with sitting a lot at work during the early pandemic could have shortened my hip flexors and created problems around my hip, lower back and SI joint.

    After a terrible exacerbation of the SI joint in Nov 2020. I had about 6 months off running (I find it hard to fathom my strava stats, in Jan 2021 I only ran 5km in the whole month!) with a very slow build up of yoga, walking, cycling and eventually swimming. Thank goodness for open water swimming which restarting in Summer 2021. In summer 2021 I noticed a considerable improvement in symptoms and ran Ilkley and Leeds HM without too much problem. By that point I think the injury had become psychological and it took me a while to overcome that and convince myself that I was no longer injured.

    The Rombalds this year was my first proper ramp up of training and doing significant exertions at ‘race pace’. So far it seems to be going well!

  3. Hello Stephen , I think that you had just bad luck and it is hopefully gone for good and you can achieve a good form for the future . Sadly when athletes push their bodies to the limit injuries will occur . Welcome to the Otley AC. and all the best for your competitions in the future .

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