The title of this post sums up my weekend of racing in a nut shell. I was at the Knowsley Disability Athletics Challenge in Liverpool, my biggest competition of the season so far as there were entries from Brazil who have a wealth of visually impaired sprinting talent.
The six lane mondo track meant that only three athletes could race at any one time in the T11-13 classification, as the guide runners take up the other lanes. I was originally drawn to race the world record holder, but they must have reshuffled the races in order of times, so I went in the B race. This left me with the number three Brazilian and a T13 British athlete.
Before the race began one of the officials were moaning at the Brazilians for not being in their respective lanes. After a few times of listening to them trying to explain in English that T11/12 athletes are given two lanes and it doesn’t matter which one the guide or athlete is in and the official still insisting on forcing them to swap lanes I spoke up in a ratty tone and the official just shut up! I thought they were supposed to know the rules! Anyway, whilst my reaction was satisfactory, I felt I didn’t get off to a great start. I gave my guide instructions to track the T13 athlete who I know has a PB of 14.6secs. Pretty quickly we lost the arm rhythm and after I couldn’t get it back I just drove with my left arm and relaxed my attached one. I finished last, but knew I had run quicker than my previous two races and was the closest to the T13 athlete I had ever been before. The Brazilian number three stormed ahead achieving the A standard for 2012 clocking 14.16secs.
When I went to collect my kit an official approached me and asked if I spoke English. I was like ‘yeah I am English’! He then proceeded to tell me that I had been disqualified as my guide crossed the finish line before me. My response ‘you’re joking?!’ I had half an hour to appeal the decision; I just wanted to know my time! My guide and I went down to see the track official and were shown the photo finish, which apparently pictured the orange guide vest that was absolutely massive on my guide by a millimetre cross the line before me. Because the vest was so big the wind obviously puffed it out and that’s what made it to the finish first. They at least gave me my unofficial time of 15.13secs, just 0.24 off of the B standard for 2012 and a tenth quicker than my PB from last year. However, I won’t get this time put next to my name and will get a big fat DQ instead, which is a bit gutting. It’s funny how the officials knew this rule!
The 200m was on the Sunday and I faced the same athletes. Warming up I knew it was windy and wasn’t looking forward to the race, as I knew it was going to hurt and I had no chance of running a quick time. Again I wasn’t happy with my start and ran into my guide almost immediately. The wind felt ok around the bend, but as soon as I hit the straight it literally gobbled me up! My arms and legs were all over the place and I felt like I was going backwards not forwards. With 30m to go I was actually just going to stop, it felt like torture! I was shocked my time came out sub 40 and I managed 38.63secs over six seconds off of my PB. I didn’t feel too bad, as the Brazilian was six seconds off of her PB too running over 34secs. I wouldn’t have minded a big fat DQ next to that performance and never want to run into a -8.1 head wind ever again!
Positives to take forward:
1. I ran a PB even if it won’t be ratified
2. I’m just 0.24secs away from the B standard
3. I ran nearly a second quicker than my first couple of races
4. I know I can go faster if I get a good start and keep the arm rhythm
5. I know I need to get stronger to run a decent 200m
My next race is on Thursday 9th June, which is just my local club’s open.
In every good is bad and in every bad is good!