Race Report: Hatfield 5 | Eclectic Cake: Race Report: Hatfield 5

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Race Report: Hatfield 5

WHAT:  5 mile road race
WHERE:  University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
WHEN:  30th November 2014


It's been ten years since I first arrived at the University of Hertfordshire to start my degree. I learned a lot there – how to make a spaghetti hoop toasted sandwich, tequila is evil and having no sleep makes you delirious – but, as I lined up for the start of a new 5 mile race on my old stomping ground, it became clear that the learning hadn't stopped. Each mile of the Hatfield 5 taught me something new.


1. BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME

This inaugural event completely sold out, way before race day! Whilst it's a not a high profile race in a big destination city, Hatfield is obviously home to many keen runners. On a chilly but beautifully sunny Sunday morning, 400 of us lined up to enjoy a brilliantly organised five miles. I've no doubt there will be even more runners wanting to run this suburban course next year.


Credit: Active Training World

2. NEW RUNNERS ARE KEEN

I was running with one of my best friends in her first proper race. She's more comfortable on the netball court but her incredible fitness is easily translated to the road. In fact, if I was to run the whole thing with her, I realised pretty quickly I'd have to reel her in and slow down. She wanted the experience by her side (although she didn't need it) and I enjoyed the company.


Credit: Active Training World


3. RUNNING MAKES YOU MORE AWARE

I discovered far more of Hatfield during fourty-something minutes of running than I did during four years of study. It's far more than slightly stinky student houses. I already knew running was a brilliant way to explore new places but it also makes you more aware of places you've already been. It forces you to look at your path in greater detail as you study each step and as you count down each mile, you tick off newly discovered landmarks.



4. SHORT RACES ARE HARD

This summer, I'd been working on adding distance and endurance. I wasn't interested in speed, so whenever I ran shorter distances, they were social or for fun. But beside an ever so slightly competitive first-timer, I had no choice but to try my best. And it hurt. Admittedly I was ignoring injury but this was a different pain, the type that strangles your breath and weighs down your legs. 


Credit: Active Training World

5. FAMILIAR SCENES PULL YOU THROUGH

With burning lungs and lead legs, the road I stumbled along after student nights out became the road to the finish line. The memories of silly nights out helped my mind wonder and pulled me through the last half mile. That, and the sight of my friend speeding away and the fear that I'd miss her cross the finish line.

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