On the evening of Wednesday 10th January 2024, Barnsley Athletics Club hosted an open track meet at the Dorothy Hyman Stadium in Cudworth. Two striders were in attendance – myself and Seth Kirby. Two distances were on offer – the mile and 2 mile, and you could race one or both for the very reasonable fee of £6.50.
Everyone I told that I was off to a January track meet had the exact same reaction – ‘OUTDOORS?!?!’. It is true that the freezing temperatures of January do not make ideal conditions for track racing, but one thing I have learnt about myself is that I simply cannot say no to these sorts of events, rain or shine. Luckily, I was forewarned by our coaches at Thursday track sessions that this particular track is infamously cold and windy, so I opted to wear an extra layer under my vest. Aside from the weather, it is an impressive facility and was a nice track to run on.
Having decided that I am in absolutely no shape to be running at my previous mile pace at the moment, I opted to just run the 2 mile, which I finished in a time of 12:37, and I was pleased to finish my first race in a long time. Seth ran in the same heat as me in an impressive 10:46. He then also ran in the mile which must have been pretty painful after the strong 2 mile effort.
There are another 2 events in this series (14th Feb, 13th March – with the March date including a 5000m which could serve as a good target race). I highly recommend getting involved if you want to have a go at really pushing yourself – abilities over the mile ranged from 04:34 to 8:05 and races are seeded so you will be with people of similar ability. Pretty tragically, I actually ran my 2 mile at the pace I could run 10k this time last year, but that is beside the point – it’s a fun evening out, the feeling of satisfaction of giving something a good go and a chance to catch up with running friends from across the region, and you don’t always get these mid week opportunities this time of year.
The 1 mile race was won by Joe Firth from Tadcaster in 4.34.2 and the 2 mile race by Kai Sunman from Holmfirth in 9.47.1
Full results: here