When you get the “running bug” you’re usually found trotting along a pavement or road. So it is that we find the most participative running in our club is Road Racing.
The road racing season with Eastleigh offers a wide range of distance challenges from 5 miles to Half Marathons There is even a league to encourage you to try them all. The most popular distance in a season is the 10k. Our headline 10k event each year is our home fixture, The Eastleigh 10k , formerly sponsored by the DIY chain B&Q nowadays supported by Hendy Ford. This event is renowned for its personal best (PB) potential and many of our folks in the orange vests (including me) have peaked on this race. This year the event grew dramatically and over 2500 runners lined up at the start.
There are many other 10k races in the region and of course the recently revived Southampton Half Marathon is one that we have taken to our hearts and many of our less ambitious runners go for it and with the help of our club training program most achieve it and often surprise themselves. This year we supplied many of the race pacers a challenge in itself, shepherding your followers whilst keeping an eye on the GPS.
The league I referred to earlier is called “Hampshire Road Race League” (HRRL). The league comprises a selection of road races beginning in early September and ending in early June the following year. The season is 12 races comprising 2 x 5 mile, 4 x 10k, 4 x 10 mile and 2 x ½ Marathons. The league is both a team and individual event but to be successful as a club we need to have as many as possible running each race. With such a variety of distance there’s bound to be a number of races you can run, even if you’re not up for the longer races your participation in the other events helps the team score. Details of all the races and participating clubs are here http://www.hrrl.org.uk/default.htm
We are a very inclusive club and don’t want anyone to lose the opportunity to race for team orange so if transport is an issue post a request on the Eastleigh Running Club Facebook and you’re to get a lift. The usual rendezvous place is the back of Fleming Park Sports Centre. We travel far and wide in the county with the HRRL we even cross the water to the IOW to take part in a “challenging 10 miler” at Ryde and if you are running the club will pay your ferry fare travelling as a foot passenger on the Ryde catamaran ferry.
Participation in road racing at any level will improve your running and if you are flagging or hitting a barrier in progress then we have plenty of coaches on hand to recommend ways of getting through it. To succeed in road racing you should try and do some of the interval training offered on most Thursday club nights. Often it’s not just about the quantity of the run training but more about the quality and intervals will make you stronger and faster.
Road running is tough on the bones so pushing the budget on good shoes is a wise decision. Injuries are more likely to occur on the road than off so it’s a good idea to have a break to do a little cross country in the winter and romp in some mud, woods and grass.