Monday, 11 July 2011

Parkhauslauf Allee Center Hamm

This is not the usual run, for one its not out in the countryside, rather its in the parking decks of the local shopping center, the course looped around the top deck, went down one level looped around the second deck which was nice and cool, and then down one of the access ramps to the ground level entrance before climbing back up the ramp to the 4th floor to complete the loop.

The loop is advertised as 1.6km although bassed on my end result im a bit sceptical and think it might be more like 1.55-1.57 either way its the same loop theyve run each year.

I only entered this one because my youngest son (age 7)  wanted to run in the kids race which was one loop. The kids race was run with all age groups in a single event, 7yo's to 16yo's which knowing my son would spur him onto an even bigger effort as he tries to keep up with the older kids. He positioned himself in the second or thrid row, and waited for the start gun, then he's off. He got away about midpack. The start of these kids races is usually pretty fast and furious, but he's learnt to not worry too much about his position in the first few hundred meters ... then they disappeared down the ramp and the waiting begins.

Not surprisingly it was the 16yo boys that emerged first, with a loacl lad running in to better his route record. but we only had a minute to wait for the little speedster to top the ramp and head for the finish line, in the end sprint he had a head to head race with a boy in front, he pulled back 3m to close on him and pass before the boy realised and responded with an end sprint of his own to finish 3/10ths of a second ahead. My youngest still ran in 11th overall, and took the win in his age group.

I went into the race with no serious ambitions at all, I even decided to run in a brand new pair of shoes that id picked up in the end of season sales the day before. Id been warned that in the parkhaus my garmin wouldnt be much help but i wore it anyway. I got away to a pretty good start and with plenty of room was able to settle into a comfortable pace almost straight away. The field thinned out and i found myself running just a tad slower than the runner ahead... but this time i resisted the urge to try and hold with him... instead allowing him to slowly pull ahead.

On my third lap i ran into the first back runners, but with a wide course they didnt hold me up at all. on lap 3 i realised that the gap to the guy in front had stopped growing, so when we go into the shaded deck i picked up the pace a little to close up slowly on him... we also picked up a few younger runners that had gone out too fast in the begining. I used my evil passing technique of sitting on their shoulder for 20 seconds before putting in a short burst to pull past and open a gap and then return to my regular pace.

The running down the ramp was really starting to take its toll on me, i found the steepness and the constant cornering quite tough. but i guess anyone that was going fast had the same. as i approached the start fininsh line to start my final lap i was passed by the leaders running in, two lads from the same athletic club running side by side...  out the otherside of the start area i finally managed to catch the guy that was in front of me. I pulled past on the short downhill going into the shaded deck and kept the pace on to ensure id pulled clear. by the time we got to the ramp down to ground level i had 10m.

I let myself open up down the ramp, and dug in climpbing back up to the 4th floor deck before putting in a bit of a sprint to the finish line. The new shoes were really good, no problems at all, I even managed a pretty quick time if the distance was really 9.6k... to top it all off i got myself a 2nd in my age group, and the first actual prize thats worth something, a gif voucher for the running shop in the shopping center.

Even better still the race entry came with a goody bag with a towel and magazine, and the race number entitled you to a free bowl of pasta, and there was a 'tombola' ticket for every finisher with all sorts of great prizes... the kids got a guaranteed prize, my son got a new football, but thats where my luck ran put i drew a null when i was eyeing up the mini kegs of beer. still there is allways next year, and i will be doing this curious little race again if possible.

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