Race date: Wednesday 19th July 2023
Report by: Seth Kirby
Back to the track, one week later! Don’t worry this is my last track report for a while… Holme Pierrepont Running Club’s Track Night popped up on my radar a few months ago, as I was looking to have a go at the 1500m.
After last week’s successful outing in Derby, I entered the 3000m at the end of the night too. I work in Nottingham, so I rocked up and saw a guy setting up a table without the key to the athletics track equipment store! I was a little concerned, but I should haven’t been as about 15 minutes later the store was open and the registration queue was full. They then sorted and laid out the names and predicted times for each event and placed them on a board. There were virtually no places left in any of the heats and there were very few dropouts on the night – last week there were lots of no-shows!
I ended up having a chat with the event organiser James Kirkwood who was cheering people on the sidelines close to the registration area. He told me I was in the final heat with him (this was supposedly the quickest heat, which was a little unnerving!). I can’t remember the exact order of races, but it went something like – 800m, 200m, 1500m, 400m, and 3000m with 3 heats for most events. Races were busy and there were people relaxing on the far side to watch the action.
There were a couple of runners from the host club running in every single event (a feat that was mightily impressive considering I nearly got beat by a guy who did this – apparently he is a top 10 runner in the county! Obviously, I knew that… But as I explained I don’t run in Nottinghamshire but in YORKSHIRE (this is what Yorkshire folk do isn’t it? I am not originally from Yorkshire and still have no idea why they continue shouting this at any sporting event…).
Sorry, went off-piste there, but I’ll continue with my race prep instead. Bingham Athletics Track was behind a school and near some football pitches, so a bit like Chaucer but with a total upgrade on this and where you don’t run through a wind tunnel either – that is one reason I won’t go back to that track! I warmed up on the football pitches and there was a sprint track behind which I did some strides on. I also got chased by the same dog twice – he thought I had his green ball.
I watched a couple of 200 metre heats and then we were into the 1500s. There were maybe 10 people in the heat (I checked the results and there were 11…). Holme Pierrepont runners, plus a Newark runner, plus me. After looking at people’s times on the board I knew I probably wasn’t going to get dropped, well hopefully not!
For a fun track evening event and the first time some had run on the track before, the officials were quite serious on the night – with comments about not wearing smartwatches in a track meet (granted, I’ll give them this one!) as well as giving tips to a Newark athlete who had just run a 2.05 in the 800m. But I think they were training up some more junior officials on the night though, so I forgive them.
They was a delay in processing the results but then we were set off quickly. The organiser of the evening James got himself towards the front and turned out to be a good pacemaker. In fact, such an excellent pacemaker that he said after the race, ‘Why did I go to the front’ – he still got a PB! I think I was about just behind James with another chap in front for around 3 laps. The bell rang and people just started picking up the pace so I tried to follow. I went around James and the guy in front, but two others came past me in the final 100 metres. Positions don’t mean much to me, but I was relatively pleased with my time on very little track training. I took 45 seconds off my 1500m time from 2019!
Afterwards, I got chatting with a runner who was asking about parkruns in Sheffield, so I had time to cool down/warm up before the 3k race. Again, I was in the ‘quicker’ heat, and this was packed. Only now I was surrounded by Holme Pierrepont and Rushcliffe AC runners. Unlike last week people stuck around to watch the final race. The officials said their usual spiel about not knocking others over and we were off again.
I got myself behind a chain of runners that included a guy who had run in every event on the night (I think he was called Ollie!). I stuck behind him for 4 laps then moved past him on the last two laps. Then a young Rushcliffe AC runner came past me just before the start of the final lap. We rounded the corner to the finish. I think I ran this race quicker than the 3k last week (I did!). However, the focus was the 1500 metres – it is good to try to be more consistent though.
The event overall was decent. Everyone was accommodating, and very supportive and the atmosphere was fantastic all evening! Would highly recommend attending this event in future – it’s free, well organised, relatively local and I found the evening enjoyable. I was the sole Strider at this meet and my results and the complete results are below.
1500m result (heat 3): 11 total runners
3000m result (heat 2): 17 total runners
The full results can be found on The Power of 10 here.