Hanney 5 Report by Nic Coppuck

Race report – Hanney 5 – October 2nd 2022

I entered the Hanney 5 as part of a training plan (thanks coach Ian K!!) to get back to running in the double digits as a target after regularly only running 5-6 miles.

The Hanney 5 was week 6 of our training plan and meant a good combination of speed and distance.

This was my first non-club race in 3 years and so I approached the day with even more of a heightened sense of nerves and trepidation than usual. (Mainly about how much slower I am now than 3 years ago 😊). With my lovely running buddy Rachel G, we planned a two-mile warm up followed by the 5-mile race itself to get us to our target 7 mile long run that week.

It was a beautiful sunny morning and the conditions couldn’t have been better. I had heard rumours of hills so at the start line I canvassed everyone for reassurance about the course and was told it was happily flat. When the starting gun went off, I felt that familiar rush of adrenaline that has been missing for a few years and reminded me why we all love races.

Determined not to get carried away with a fast start due to my lack of race practice, I held back for the first mile to get into a rhythm and enjoyed the clapping and cheering of supporters along this part of the route. I soon settled into my race pace and focused on maintaining this pace whilst enjoying the flat, tarmacked roads (much of my training is off-road) and although it was a very sunny and therefore quite warm day, it is such beautiful countryside that it was the perfect setting.

Crossing the finish line with that extra push that we all know we have when other runners are watching, I immediately felt that familiar rush of endorphins and the need to sign up to another race as soon as possible.

Hanney 5 is a great Autumn run to add to your race calendar, and although way off PB for me, it’s definitely one to add in for those aiming for a 5-mile PB.

But the biggest thing that I wanted to reflect on with this race is that from the minute you arrive at a race with your ERR teammates, you are pulled into a family of runners and the feeling of this is like no other. I had forgotten the friendliness, camaraderie and support that our ERR running buddies so generously give. You will never be alone at a club championship race with other ERR’s attending and in all of my pre-race nerves about my times, I had forgotten that the club is full of the most supportive and kind runners who genuinely treat all running accomplishments with the same support and pride – whether you are crossing the line first in a marathon or near the end of a 5-mile race, everyone is genuinely pleased for your achievement. This is what a true team is all about and its a great thing to be a part of.

I achieved my first 10 miles in over a year a few weeks later and am looking forward to more racing in a fitter (and hopefully quicker!) 2023.