Back to the Teddy Hall Relays for the first time since 1998 (and when it was just a 5k route I set my road PB of 17:38 here in 1991). I was running the third leg for an Oxford City V50 team (although we were all only just “on the cusp” of 50!). Cycling down to the Iffley Road track at lunchtime it was cold and misty but within half an hour that’d burned off and it turned into a sunny afternoon. I was trying out some new Adidas racing flats, yet more shoes in a vibrant orange colour, and wearing my own OCAC vest for the first time. After picking up my number from Rob, team captain, and a bit of banter with a few other runners I went for a decent jog to try to loosen up the tight right quad that’s been troubling me for the last few weeks. That seemed reasonably successful, but I might rest it a bit more before Sunday’s Gloucester 20. It’s an odd sort of injury which leaves me feeling like I’ve got a “dead leg” until it’s properly warmed up.
Once I’d picked up the baton from my team mate, I was quickly off and out of the stadium, careful not to get carried away with racing too hard too early on although I still managed a steady decline in pace coming back along miles 2 and 3. It was great to be racing in vest and shorts for the first time this year, and after a short sprint around the track I passed the baton on to Rob for his final leg. I’d run 3.6 miles in 23:25 (6:32 minute miles), a bit slower than I’d hoped for – I was the slowest runner for my team by about 40 seconds, something I’m not used to from my good cycling background!
I had a bit of a warm-down and watched the last leg runners coming in and then a chat to Rob about what he’d been up to lately (training in Kenya!) and about the OCAC Vets Tuesday night track sessions. I ought to be getting down to these if I want to see any increase in speed this summer, although I’m having fun just being in the middle of the pack. A thoroughly good afternoon. Results Link.