Racing in Pairs 

On Sunday 15th May I took part in the Calderdale Way Relay for the second year running. This year I did leg 6 and had a different partner. Both were ace!

I was picked to run for the mixed B team, which I am sure may have been an administrative error, as I’m clearly a C team runner, sometimes D 😬

Leg 6 was 10.5 miles and also the final leg so already the pressure was on. The CWR is also a pairs relay, and Helen ‘Relay team organiser queen’ Buchan paired me up with Liz. I’d never ran with Liz before, let alone in a race, so I was quite nervous. Her Strava showed a much more disciplined trainer than I, with several runs a week, up hills, whereas mine was lucky to have one run a week on a nice flat canal!

Would we be a good match, would I get beasted, would we even like each other for the whole two hours? It was a minefield of questions that couldn’t truly be answered until race day. Luckily I had met her before hand, and she was super friendly so that was a good start, so didn’t worry about the last question so much. 

We organised a recce with some others running the leg so we at least new what the route had in store. Happily it seemed pretty runnable. 

Ian Symington made the worrying a little more intense by listing a select few pairings pain rating, based on each runners previous race rating. Ours was 0.4 ish – I was nervous!

After the palaver of trying to get ourselves to start, whilst being able to get home after, we met at the start. 

Liz and I were giddy, excited and nervous. What a combination. We decided that the route was runnable and that we would speak up if we were going too fast for one another. We also had a target of 2hrs, by no means a quick time for the leg, but definitely within our abilities. 

We were all smiles having tackled the small hill at the start and a nice run through the village of Norwood Green. 

It got serious as we zoomed along the canal at Brighouse knowing we had the hill up through the forest. We knew we had done halfway in under an hour so out two hour target was still achievable. 

As we got to the final hill we were feeling a bit puffed out, but knew we had a lovely downhill section. 

As we left the canal and hit the the road into Greetland our target time was in sight. I suggested if there was anything left we should sprint from the garden centre. Liz made it clear a good 50 yards from the centre that she was going full pelt. However as soon as we hit the grass of the rugby field a final burst of energy overcame her and we came in hand in hand and super red faced. 

We’d managed to finish in 1hr 58mins and we were super pleased! 

My Strava of the run is here

It was a pleasure to run with Liz, Helen had done a good job at matching us up and I can’t wait to tackle the leg again next year and smash our time! 😀

Running in pairs is easy when you have the right partner. 

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