A crash on the M4 closed the motorway and left John Wills and Steve Mitchell sitting in a car for 3 and a half hours without moving an inch, behind them Hannah Alderson was diverted off the motorway reaching Watford by way of Oxford. Frantic phone calls saw the organisers move Steve from his planned 1,500 metres at 8.39 p.m. to an 800 metres at 9.05 p.m. With traffic only finally moving at 8 p.m. and the guys still 45 miles from Waford it took some frantic driving to get them to Watford by 8.55 p.m. Thankfully the meeting was running about 10 minutes late – which gave Steve a full 15 minutes to get his number, warm up and spike up. In a very quick ‘D’ race Steve sat in towards the back as the leaders including international Nick McCormick went through the bell in 53 seconds with Steve in close attendance in 54.4. As one or two paid for the early pace Steve ran on strongly to finish 6th out of ten in a PB 1:51.35 (previous PB1:52.6).
Earlier Hannah Alderson had finished 13th out of 16 in the Women’s 1,500 metre ‘B’ race to shave her PB down from 4:32.83 to 4:32.3. With 17 including the pacemaker in the field the first couple of laps were quite congested and with an easier run in the first 800 metres Hannah would have probably run closer to her target of 4:30 – still the South-West Schools this coming Saturday will give her another opportunity to break that barrier.
In the next-to-last race of the evening Jon Wills gave 100% in the Mens ‘A’ 5,000 going through 3,000 metres in around 8:24 before finishing 12th out of 20 in a PB 14:14.3 – in a race won by a visitor from Finland in 13:42.
Commisserations to Rich Peters who was also stuck in the traffic but around 25 minutes behind Steve and Jon and who decided (rightly) that he wouldn’t have made the start for the last 800 metres of the evening and headed back home. What did we do before mobile phones?