Clevedon Boxing Day 4m

I was away from home, visiting family in Somerset over Christmas, and wanted to get a good bit of running in, so was pleased to find that the Clevedon Athletics Club organise a four mile road race on Boxing Day, so made sure i got my entry form posted off nice and early.

My parents and gran accompanied me on the day to lend a bit of support, so after we parked up we walked to the start location, just as the children’s race kicked off. Some determined faces charged past us on the sea front as we walked: Very impressive.

The weather was not exactly cold, but certainly chilly with the wind, and proximity to the sea. I felt shorts would do, but wearing gloves was certainly a mistake. I always find it hard to balance how I feel when I look outside to see what the weather is like, and how I know I’ll heat up along the way.

I managed to complete the four mile (6.44k) race in 00:30:07 (my time), and via the race chip company website, 00:30:36 (official times don’t seem to be on the clubs site, so visit to get them). Placed 345 out of 817 finishers. My pace wasn’t quite what I’d hoped to achieve – I really had hoped to be closer to 29 minutes – but the hill at the 2.5 mile mark put pay to that. But still means that I achieved a good time, on par with my most recent 5k time. And given it was the first time I’d run this particular distance, was guaranteed a PB anyway 🙂

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The race itself seemed well organised, especially given the size of the field, there were certainly plenty of marshals out on the course, and enthusiastic support from the locals who turned out to cheer everybody on, plus a chip timing system I hadn’t expected for a race this size. The route was straight forward and took us right around the town.

I’m afraid I wasn’t very impressed with the start/finish arrangements at the circuit. A poorly placed diesel generator spouting fumes (I find the smell of engines rather nauseating) was my main gripe. A slow start (hence my distrust of the official time, and I don’t recall seeing any chip sensors on the road). The exit route was also a bit poor: A big screen from the chips showing live results is a super idea, but everybody wanted to look and runners soon backed up into the narrow exit path, making getting out rather difficult given the large crowd barriers in place. And no water (that I saw), just the sponsors sports drink.

I sound like I’m moaning. I’m not. I had a great time, and very well organised by the club, for such a big event. It was just let down a little at the high-density start/finish point by the layout, but that may be rather constrained by the limited space available.

Was fun to bump into somebody who recognised my running clubs colours. Transpires he was from Edinburgh – down visiting his family – and recognised the Bella colours from the Scottish cross country circuit, which is something I’m hoping to do more of next year. Nice talking to you fella, and maybe we’ll meet again sometime 🙂

Met up with my parents and gran, who had managed to position themselves close to the start/finish line, and headed back for a Boxing Day party at my Uncle and Aunts. Here’s hoping for a better time in the two 10k’s I’ve got coming up in January, at least one of which I gather is a very flat course along a canal. I’ll soon find out whether I’m talking pish about hills ruining my times 🙂

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