Swift Run 5 Race Report

by Laura Rangeley

Race date: 2-7 November 2023

The Swift Run is a one hour time trial, to be run as a virtual race at a location of your choosing, any time within the given window, with one simple aim – get as far as you can within the 60 minutes. It’s organised by a friend of mine, Olly, who runs Swift Run Coaching, and this was the fifth rendition of the event (and my third attempt).

The summer has been all about building up distance for me, and almost all on the trails, so I haven’t had a bash at any sort of speed for a while and didn’t have particularly high hopes, especially as the race window fell in a busy week for me. I left work a little early on a rainy Thursday, thinking if I could just get an hour under my belt before it got dark, I’d at least have something to submit and hopefully might have time to give it another go before the challenge closed.

My previous efforts had been round Rother Valley and the TransPennine Trail, but with time not on my side I chose to stick close-by to home and work, looping the pavements round Broadfield Road and Virgin Gym, which are popular for speed sessions within the club. The key advantage being it’s very flat, but with busy pavements, badly parked vehicles and lots of pedestrians to negotiate around adding a few extra challenges.

Anyway, I set-off with no pressure and no expectations, just my tempo playlist in my ears and Storm Ciarán whirling around me. I hit the first km in just over 5 minutes, not far off my 5k PB pace, and somehow just kept on going. I got to 5k in my quickest time since April – I wasn’t quite sure what was going on, but I was feeling good and strong. I eased-off a little over the next couple of kms, before realising that if I put some effort in I might be able to get close to my 10k PB, set at Dewsbury 10k in 2022 and which I was aiming for next year to have a crack at getting my time down – which I’d thought would be way out of reach at the moment. But that strength and stamina I’ve gained over the summer has clearly paid off more than I expected – I gritted my teeth and ran as fast as my little legs would let me. My 10th km took me 4.33 (which is very quick for me), and Strava has me hitting 10k at 51.01, 39 seconds quicker than my previous best! I absolutely couldn’t believe it! It did mean the last 9 minutes of the challenge were a bit slower as I’d really pushed to get to the 10k mark, but I managed to end the hour on 11.7km, a 300m PB on my previous attempts despite the additional road crossings. Genuinely flabbergasted, but very pleased!

I really recommend these events as a great way to challenge yourself in a different way to conventional races, the lack of pressure seems to have fared me well and the t-shirt I’ll get is epic (it’s Lego themed!).

James Edwards (unaffiliated) came first, running a distance of 8.56 miles in the hour. First lady was me!

Strider’s Result:

P Name Cat Distance (Miles)
12 Laura Rangeley FSEN 7.26

Full results are here: https://www.avtiming.com/swiftrun

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