Race date: Sunday 27th August 2023
Report by: Seth Kirby
I am writing this report on the flight back from Ibiza – perhaps more glamourous than the race recap itself… Charnwood Athletic Club organise a series of open track meets each year. This was their last open event of the year. So I thought I would have a blast again in the 1500s!
The meet was on Sunday so I wouldn’t be able to fit into my long run. I arrived in the early afternoon at Loughborough University’s Paula Radcliffe Stadium and Charnwood AC’s clubhouse. The 100m heats had just started but I thought I would position myself near the throws area and then go for a wander.
As the 100m was ongoing I went to collect my race numbers from the registration room and then to watch some of the long jump competitions. Compared to other open meets attended this year this race the stadium was busy right from the get-go and remained so for the majority of the track races. I was intending on running both the 3000m and 1500m but I arrived later than expected and missed the event – the 3k race has tended to be either first up or last to run! The final race in the evening was the mile race from the schedule.
Whilst I waited for the 1500m to start I decided to watch a few of the javelin and shot putt throws. There was a real mix of abilities on show. I saw one London athlete (perhaps Newham) wearing a Team GB chucking the javelin a fair way, closely followed by a Charnwood athlete only throwing a few metres!
As we moved into the late afternoon I remember races passing by with little stress or disruption. This was barring one sprinter who featured in both the 100 and 200 metres. He seemed to think this was a BMC/Diamond League meeting. After winning both of his races shouted ‘I’m back and what!’ – his time was around 10.60 in the 100m and I hoping he might get some taunts afterwards but no one wanted to provoke him!
During this time, I prepared my usual ‘above average attempt’ at attaching my numbers to my race vest, ate a tuna and sweetcorn sandwich, and started my warm around campus. I did a run around the rugby astro turf and cricket pitches.
I came back to the track and went to the toilet a couple of times then the 1500 heat was about to commence. I managed to make the third and final race (the quickest on paper!). Again, there would be a host of junior athletes I would be racing against – most of whom were from local athletics clubs. I lined up and two others next to me asked me what time I was aiming for and I replied about 4.30, and they said great we are going to pace this evenly to a target of 4.30.
The race was set off and possibly around 5 or so juniors ran ahead of me with 3 others further up (I was fairly certain there were three runners in front of me, but I’ll come back to this point…). A few runners ahead didn’t pace the first two laps appropriately but I became boxed in until about 800m when I got out and managed to just sneak in front. I looked at the digital timing screen and this read 4.10 (I thought this was a live reading but this was not the case!) and I thought I should be on for 4.30 here. I tried to increase my speed for the final lap but I didn’t have much left in the tank and maintained my speed going into the final 100m.
I thought I had finished in 4th but following the release of the results online (as there were no printed copies that I could see!) I came 5th with a time a few seconds slower than a month ago – a touch disappointing but ultimately not wholly surprising! However, on holiday I had already reflected on this result and moved on to the focus for future races.
The meet was very well attended and the most worthwhile out of all of the track races I have experienced this year. The quality of the runners was excellent! They even provided some prizes to up-and-coming stars of the future, which was a nice touch. Of course, I was the only Strider at this meet. My result and the complete results are below.
1500m result (heat 3): 10 total runners
The full results can be found on The Power of 10 here.