Bristol and West Fast 5000's
Report on inaugural event, 22 July.
Inspired by the Highgate Harriers 'Night of 10000m PB's', Bristol and West AC premiered their new 'Fast 5000's' event Saturday night at Yate athletics track, with the aim of creating competitive races to allow athletes to attack their PB's, and to help try and reverse the worrying trend of the 5000m disappearing from open meets.
Similar to Highgate, the evening consisted of eight mixed graded races, and a ladies A race consisting of Ladies going after Commonwealth Games Qualification times. Each race included pacemakers, the paces ranging from 22 minutes down to a rapid 14min30. No qualification was needed, but with the event selling out weeks in advance, prompt entry was a must.
With food and drink available from the track bar, people were encouraged to make an evening of it, with many staying and enjoying the racing till the very end (helped by being the only place in Gloucestershire to remain dry all evening). Whilst maybe not matching the now legendary Lane3BeerNCheer from Highgate, spectators were allowed out into lane four in the home straight, creating a great atmosphere, with the noise and encouragement reaching a crescendo for the last few laps of every race.
Representing Abingdon AC
I (Dan Wilson) was AAC's only runner, and whilst I was slightly outside my PB running in the C race, many took full advantage of the near perfect conditions and great encouragement to bag themselves PB's. Results were up very promptly thanks to the chip timing, and a printout of your lap splits was available afterwards, meaning you could analyse your race to your hearts content.
Overall, it was a very well organised meet with a great atmosphere, and is well worth the trip down the M4 for future events, suitable for both seasoned track athletes chasing PB’s and those looking to run their first track 5000.