met league trent park2014 was my glory year of running. I got a PB in every distance and won the V45 category of the Ealing Eagles Club Championships. Nine months of cancer treatment the following year and a stress fracture in 2018 have left me much slower and aware that I am extremely unlikely to ever PB again. Even without all the treatment, I don’t know how much faster I could have got at my age. So now I run for the love of it, although I can’t resist trying to set PCPSF* PBs.

My aim this year is just to try and qualify for the Eagles Club Champs. Every year, around 20 races of different lengths are earmarked for the championships. You can enter as many as you want, and you get points for your best five races according to where you placed in the rankings of all the Eagles of the same sex as you. The best score to get is 5 which means you were first Eagal in five races, but because there’s a prize for each age group it’s worth entering even if you’re not super-speedy. Doing well at Club Champs is a combination of speed, judicious choice of races, weather and luck. Participation counts for a lot.

However, I thought about Club Champs quite late in the year and discovered there were only five races left in the calendar and I needed to do them all to qualify. The first was Perivale 5 last December, a local five mile race that I’ve done a few times, where I was 17th Eagle woman home. Next was Cross Country which I probably wouldn’t have done without the Club Champs provocation. I ended up doing two races, Alexander Palace in January and Trent Park in February where the photo above was taken. Both races were gloriously muddy, but I absolutely loved them.

Last weekend I did Harrow Hill 10k. There was a possibility of it being cancelled because of the wet and stormy weather but it went ahead with a slightly modified route. We had to run up a huge hill four times, and some people got misdirected and did it five times, but because of the dreadful weather not many Eagles made it and I placed fifth Eagal in spite of trudging up the hills embarrassingly slowly.

Then this morning was Wokingham Half, which again was under threat from the weather. It’s a fairly flat race but extremely windy today which was tough. I set out with the intention of doing nine minute miles and managed to keep that up until the last three, finishing in just under 1:58. I was delighted to break the two hour barrier and it’s a  PCPSF PB! Final race is Thames Towpath 10 in April.


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