Wednesday night was the final race in the Barnsley AC winter track series. So far, we’ve run 5,000m and 3,000m, but Wednesday was the big one, the 10,000m. I wasn’t looking forward to running 25 laps in the dark and cold, but I absolutely loved it.
With the runners and officials
It was a fantastic race. On a few laps I was even smiling, not so much from running round in circles, but from the camaraderie. It was such a lovely atmosphere.
On the start line
For the first few laps I led a group in the middle of the pack. When my pace slowed, someone else stepped in. We worked together. I was trying to keep focused, counting the number of laps we’d completed. I lost count at number six, or was it seven?
‘How many laps have we done?’ I asked the group.
‘Don’t worry about that,’ Mark said. ‘Just count the number of times we get lapped by the leader, and then deduct that from the board.’
This seemed a sensible approach, but when the leader whizzed past every couple of minutes, I soon lost count of that too.
Round and round we went, not really sure how many laps we’d done or how many were left. Round and round, until it was just me and my friend Jo. Jo got in front at around the half way point and, as always, she pushed the pace on. I tucked in behind, hoping that I’d manage to stay with her through the wilderness laps. I kept my eyes on Jo’s back, which is when I noticed two letters printed on the back of her shorts.
‘GB’ it said. And there was a little flag printed next to it. A red, white and blue flag.
‘Bloody hell! Have you run for GB?’
‘Yes,’ Jo shouted over her shoulder. ‘In duathlon. I do a lot of cycling.’
I was very impressed. ‘That’s fantastic!’
Imagine getting a GB vest, running for your country. How good would that be. And then I began to realise that I was competing against a professional, a GB professional, and that made me panic.
My internal thoughts started working in overdrive. You’re not good enough. You’re Continue reading