Lancaster Three Bridges. (Sunday 6th April 2014)

For the second year in a row it nearly didn’t happen.

If you have read the blog post regarding last years Lancaster Three Bridges you will know that we broke down on the way to the race. This time it was a case of getting mixed up. I’d mentioned the race to my wife and she had agreed to take me but we appear to have crossed wires on some point regarding the date and she also ended up booking a night out with her friends the night before.

I was beginning to think this race was cursed. After scouting around for a lift by other means I had come to conclusion that it wasn’t meant to be. However, the day before, my wife said that she was going to have a tamer night than she was expecting so she’d take me down to Lancaster on the Sunday after all.

I think she does realise how much I love her but that doesn’t stop me saying it. She is amazing.

So, we all headed down to Salt Ayre Sports Centre for an 11am start to the race.

On arrival to the sports centre it was just a case of picking my number and using the facilities…

But the toilet was blocked. Great!!!

A nice gent let me into a little secret though. There were some more toilets in another block a few minutes away. My weak bladder was relieved at this and within minutes was literally relieved.

The run started (and finished) on the race track this time. Last time it had started on the path just outside of the race track before finishing on the track. A lap and a half round the track before we headed out on to what was the same course as I had taken part in during 2012. I felt  a lot more confident this time as I had entered 2014 a lot fitter than I had in 2012, albeit slightly fatter. I knew that at the 3 mile mark I was going to have to contend with the steps but again I felt more confident doing that this time. The previous time I hadn’t done any work running up and down steps but since then I’d incorporated steps into my runs at least once a week.

As predicted the steps didn’t really bother me. I flew to the top and started sprinting again along the canal path. My stomach did start bouncing for a little bit and I did feel like I could easily throw up into the water but that soon calmed down.

I was doing a fairly decent time and was confident of hitting the 50 minute mark.

At about 4 1/2 mile there was another water stop. As usual I drank half of the water and threw the rest over my head. Unfortunately I also doused a cyclist who had decided, for some reason, to tuck in behind me despite the path beside me being completely empty. Strange. I apologised a couple of times but he was none too chuffed. Never mind, it was done and I’d made my apologies not much else I could do in that situation.

I decided to give the last mile a strong push. I knew I had the legs still so I gave it my all even though it felt like my lungs were going to explode.

As I came onto the track to run the last 300 metres I spotted my wife and the boy. My son was shouting “come on daddy run faster, run faster.” I honestly didn’t think I had anything else left in me at that point but it turned out I did. I also heard a guy in the last 100 metres shout “let your legs carry you son.” This statement perplexed me slightly…my legs had been carrying me the whole way and they were still doing so at this point. I potentially lost a couple of seconds pondering that…but I crossed the line for a great finish under 50 minutes.

Position 97
Name Steve Claringbold
Club DH Runners
Time 00:49:10
Yet again I’d placed in the top 100 and I’d gotten under 50 minutes and this was a new 10k PB. The medal was lovely looking too.

3BridgesMedal

As a comparison, I’d finished the 2012 race in 56:04. I’d cut seven minutes off my previous time for the run. Progress indeed.

3bridgesselfIt had been a good weekend for DH Runners around the North West. While I was doing my own thing in Lancaster we had runners in the Manchester Marathon and The Longtown 10 Miler. You can read more about that here if you’re interested.

With that 10k out of the way thoughts now turned to my next half marathon in Garstang for the Valiants Half Marathon. This was one that had come out of the blue. Some of the lads had mentioned they were doing it and before long I’d been talked into signing up as well. (Well, it was my weekend off so why not?). More on that in the next post.

Dream, Believe, Train, Achieve.

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