Babbs Mill

As I’m officially on a taper week before next Saturday’s fifty miler around Rotherham, my long walk of the week would only need to be ten miles.

I started early with a couple of dog walks getting four miles on the clock.

After breakfast, I changed into shorts in readiness for today’s parkrun. As I only had a few miles to do, I chose my nearest event at Babbs Mill, Kingshurst (LINK).

I took a steady stroll, speeding up along the way, for just over two miles to arrive in time for the start of parkrun.

Along the way, a cyclist passed me, slowly, and I glanced across to see why.

“I thought it was you!”, exclaimed the cyclist.
“Alright, Tom?”, I replied.

Tom is a member of my ex-running club (Centurions) and he joked that he was having trouble catching me !

We chatted for a while before he had to shoot off and I continued alongside the River Cole to arrive at the start of the forty fourth Babbs Mill parkrun.

My waiting was made more bearable as a number of Centurions were also taking part so we had a bit of a catch up.

One such runner, Paul and I got talking about walking and I stated that as I’d done last week’s parkrun in 36:05 I’d be well happy with sub 36 this week. Paul told me that this was around his current time, running.

I lined up mid-pack and straight after starting managed to get up to sub twelve minute pacing.

For the first quarter of a mile or so, we settled down to our own paces with a few runners trotting past. At the first accent of ‘the hill’ I was starting to reel back in some of the runners and completed my first mile in 11:37.

I continued around the first lap and could see, just up ahead, Paul whom I had been speaking to earlier. I reckoned that I could catch him so sped up slightly and slowly started closing the gap.

With a mile to go, I shouted ahead telling Paul that I was on his heels. “I know!” he acknowledged.

With about a quarter of a mile left, Paul and I were neck and neck. “Do you still do that sprint finish?” I asked. At that remark and with a flashback to earlier times, he shifted gear and was gone. I never did catch him.

As I approached the finish, I realised that I would beat last week’s time and even get under that thirty six minute barrier. Stopping the watch as I crossed the line, my watch read 35:56 – Result.

I had a good walk and a great result.

Looking at the splits, I sped up throughout averaging 11:30 minutes per mile.

That is about the fastest I can go at present. To improve I need to do a few things …

  • Lose some weight
  • perfect my technique
  • Train more specifically for speed

Post walk, I took some time talking to Paul and others including my old friend Eric. As well as a great walk, I had a good catch up with old friends.

With another couple of miles to walk getting home, I set off back along the course passing a few marshals waiting for the final runners. One volunteer told me I’d walked well then asked me if I was at Woodgate Valley last week, which I was. He was also there and he said that he’d recognised me. He also looked familiar.

He asked me where I’d be next week to which I replied, “Oh, I’ll be walking around Rotherham – fifty miles”.
“We’ve got a hundred next week”, he stated, trumping my meagre fifty!
I daresay, our paths will cross again.

I was back home by half ten with twelve miles in the bag.