Congleton Harriers running club

A five-mile road race poses a dilemma for the long-distance runner. What pace do you run it at? Longer distances are easy to get your head around setting a steady pace and cadence. On shorter distances, say 5k, you know it’s going to be flat out if you are racing (writes Nick Budd). Five miles sits in-between and the competitive runner wrestles with the idea of trying to replicate their 5k pace; after all it is only an extra two miles isn’t it?
One thing that they are certain of is that it is going to feel like a five-mile sprint.
On Sunday, there were 21 Harriers facing this dilemma at the popular Alsager Five. The desire to run fast is heightened at Alsager as it’s a flat course; about the only elevation the runners must deal with is crossing the speed bumps in the road as they navigate round what was the old MMU campus. 
It’s also an incredibly well supported race with masses of spectators all around the route egging them on to a faster pace.
There were 936 runners in the race and the Harriers came in as follows. Tom Walker, 106th 29.53; Paul Steel, 208th 33.34; Emma Weston, 254th 34.37; Carol Bird, 258th 34.39; Jo Moss, 272nd 35.05; Mel Worthington, 283rd 35.19; James Yates, 298th 35.50; Michelle Stevens, 304th 35.57; Ian Stanway, 353rd 37.08; Nick Budd, 367th 37.40; Mike Stanley, 418th 38.50; Kelly Hurlstone, 428th 38.56; Paul Crean, 458th 39.43; Suzie Roscoe, 467th 39.54; Sarah Higgins, 522nd 41.42; Duncan Young, 535th 42.07; Nigel Poole, 554th 42.49; Josie Galbraith, 628th 44.19; Jackie Moss, 639th 44.56; Sandy Hall, 666th 45.50; Cathy Dean, 849th 54.56.
Walker, Steel, Stevens, Higgins and Hall all had tremendous runs, setting five-mile personal bests. Budd and Roscoe both set personal bests for the Alsager course. Carol Bird cleaned up in the F55 category, coming home comfortably first out of the 32 runners.
Away from the five-mile fun, Alice Nimmo was tackling a much longer distance, participating in the Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon. Out of the 718 runners she finished in 138th in 1.50.28. All the runners were rewarded with possibly one of the largest running medals ever seen in the shape of an aircraft carrier.
Congleton Park Run has seen a recent surge in participants with attendance breaking the 300 mark every week since the start of the new year. This week was no exception and the 314 runners and walkers had the added benefit of pacers from Congleton Harriers being in attendance as it was the first Saturday in a new month. There were pacers at the 22, 25, 28, 31 and 34-minute marks.
An informal poll of some of the finishers at the end was encouraging; a lot of people do really appreciate the pacers being in attendance. As a bit of an experiment, at next month’s outing the Harriers are intending to have more pacers running in between the normal pacing slots shown above.
‚óŹ The club welcomes new members with club training runs on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Anyone thinking of joining but are unsure of their pace and ability to keep up should consider the Monday runs, which are now being tailored to accommodate new prospective members. Find full details on the Congleton Harriers website, congleton-harriers.co.uk