It’s Christmassssssss….. well kind of as its percy pud time again – my 4th year in a row. Why do I love this race so much because I do and because I can. It is emotional for me in many ways, my first ever pb, my second pb, my third pb, home territory, yes its where I used to play when I was 5 years old, where I learned to cycle, where I taught my niece and nephew to cycle and where I learned to run, and finally where I learned to eat christmas pudding. It’s Percy Pud Time – Let the show begin!
The pressure was on though after having a grotty female moment or two the day before I tried to turn off the pressure and concentrate on making the rain and wind go away. But it didn’t work. Winter is nature’s way of saying “up yours”. But lets love winter as it will merge into Spring one day.
Percy Pud is the sort of race which one really enjoys – to feel at one’s peak on the day when it is necessary, and to be able to produce the pace at the very finish. It gives a thrill which compensates for months of training and toiling. But it is the sort of race that one wants only about once a season – Adapted slightly from Jack Lovelock
Stood at the bus stop waiting for my lift up to Loxley after my 1km warm up or cold down, down Rivelin Valley I was as cold as a camel in the arctic circle. Gloves, Hat, jumper, raincoat, star jumps, spotty dogs and squats.
Five of us made it to the start and jumped about, trying to warm up before the race, lots of club members milling about in the freezing cold, some people run in the rain others just get wet. We run.
And the gun went off. Bang I was off, on the other side of the road splish splash through the puddles, splish splash stride on. Keep up with your fellow club members push up that first slope, run my friend run. 1km done, feeling strong feeling good feeling cold. 2km and striding on feeling good feeling better, this was my Percy Pud. I looked around me as my breathing got deeper but still in control. Feeling good, feeling cold.
Round the Dam, this is beautiful. How I describe Dam Flask is just bliss, I love it around here. I used to cycle round here when I was 11 years old in 30 minutes, and then I used to run around the dam (5km) in about 40 minutes 4 years ago and now I am running around here in a race 4 years in a row, run run run just a stream of 1500 runners in a stream of rain.
Relentless Forward Motion! – Tom Riley
The rain certainty didn’t stop some 3000 feet pattering and stamping towards the Plough Inn in Bradfield as Santa passed us with the leading vehicle on the other side. No time to check the lead time as I focused on and battled with the wind cheering on my fellow club runners ahead of me heading back and cheering those on the other side that I recongised heading towards the midway point. I felt strangely good but putting in maximum effort at the same time.
Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. – Langston Hughes
6km – done, 7km – done, this is passing too quickly. No gadgets, just me, and my legs, let my legs do the running. Feel the ground run run run. 8km cheer on from Mike at Sheffield Running Club (thanks Mike someone has to do it!) and pushing forward as I tried to catch up a fellow club member on Mikes’ orders, only to be joined by super speedy Ade at 8km, 3 of us running together for 100m supporting Sheffield Running Club at its best before Ade made a go for it up the hill and left the other two of us for dust.
8km tick, 9km this is where I normally struggle but my mind felt strong even though my breathing was heavy, I had fellow club member Les in my sight as I descended into the last 1km someone at the side shouting about 40 minutes, was I going to beat my 43.58 of last year or my pb of the other week? Was I? Striding through the last 500 metres my legs did the talking as I huffed and puffed up to the finish line just sliding past fellow club member Les to bring home a clock time of 41.53 and a chip time of 41.43 turning blue and dripping with pouring rain.
You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement – Steve Prefontaine
And that’s why I run. Seeing 1500 people make it out in the cold pouring windy rain in this gorgeous location in Sheffield, running over 6 miles, and enjoying every minute of it, – you did enjoy it; admit it, go on you are a runner everyone of you, be proud of it.
Chip Time: 41.43
Gun time: 41.53
Chip Position: 189