Report – Jamie Hall
Another Sunday, another Warwickshire Road League race. I missed the race last year, so it was my first-time running Arden 9 and the first time I’d ever ran a 9-mile race.
Before lining up at the start I wasn’t sure how to best pace it. I couldn’t decide whether to go out close to 10k race pace and hang on, or to go closer to half marathon pace and finish strong. I also knew that I would be running without the SAC crew I’d been running with in the previous WRRL fixtures. Plus, I didn’t have Matt to hold my hand this week. So, I planned to go out more conservative and see how long that lasted.
At the start of the race, I went out with the front pack and quickly a Solihull runner ran off into the distance leaving the rest of us to fight for the remaining places. The first 3 miles was predominately uphill and surprisingly I felt strong and made my way to the front of the pack. At the next downhill section, I picked up the pace and soon realised I had opened a little gap and after that there was no going back and I had to commit to a surge. So, the conservative approach lasted 17 minutes and 23 seconds!
Luckily, the gap seemed to be growing but I had gone very early in the race and I still had 6 miles to go, so nothing was guaranteed.
The rest of the race became a time trial in the hot weather and with the occasional look over the shoulder to ensure 3rd place was not catching me up. Fortunately, the course provided some nice houses and views to keep my mind busy.
The final climb in the last mile was brutal but I managed to hold on and finish 31 seconds ahead of 3rdplace with a time of 50:57. I was delighted to finish 2nd and to achieve my first podium finish at a WRRL fixture.
Well done to all of the SAC runners for racing well in the heat and with yet another solid turnout. We think we may have finished 2nd in the Men’s team but will have to wait for the official results.
For the full results please follow this link: