Saturday, 11 September 2010

Race Report: Fetch Berkshire Mile & 100 metres

The Fetch Berkshire mile is, bizarrely enough, organised by members of the running website Fetcheveryone. It held four times each year, on an athletics track near Newbury (there’s other ‘Fetch mile’ events held at various locations and times around the country). Its free to attend, but its encouraged that you bring cake for afterwards!

At the start of the mile
Picture (C) Rachael Elliott

This was the first time I had been to this event, and my first attempt at running a mile! I had no idea how fast to go, what pace I should aim for etc. I decided to aim for around 9 minutes (my quickest pace in a 5km race is 9:26 minutes/mile).

On my way round the mile - are both feet off the ground?
Picture (C) Rachael Elliott

There were three groups for the mile (there were too many of us to go at once), the fast runners (sub 6 minutes) went first; I was in the third group. Many people, who had run before, had specific time targets, so the faster runners paced people in the other two groups. Although I didn’t have a goal, I ended up with my own personal pacer! I told him my goal and we were off! After 100 metres or so, I realised he wasn’t even wearing a watch, let alone a Garmin! I asked him how he was pacing, and he said he just knew from experience! After the first lap (a mile is 4 x 400m), he said we were going slightly faster than 9 minutes/mile, but if I felt okay, we should keep it going. The third lap was tough, but he counted me down from 500m to go, and I picked up my pace for the last 100m for a sprint finish. My final time was 8:40, which was well below my target time. :)

With about 150 metres to go, with my fantastic pacer, who was not only on his
third mile, pacing without a garmin or watch, but also ran barefoot!
Picture (C) Rachael Elliott

Most other people collapsed on the side of the track after running their mile, and I felt pretty much okay, so I realised that perhaps I could’ve given it a bit more! My pacer said that when I get to the point of running a mile without being able to speed up at the end, then I know I’m getting close to my fastest time!

Many people brought their children along, and there was one boy, of about 4 who ran the whole mile - very impressive! Then there was a 400m race - mostly for the children followed by several 100 metre races. I thought I might was well have a go - another distance I hadn’t attempted before!

Running the 100m (in white) - almost all of us with both feet off the ground!
Picture (C) Solitude Fairy

It was an odd distance to run - didn’t really have time to think! But I was aware that neither my lungs nor legs were sore/tired, but it was the fact that I couldn’t get my legs to move quicker that slowed me down! I ran it in 18.45 seconds - which, as someone told me, is quicker than Usain Bolt can run 200m, so I’m happy with that! :D

The running was followed by lots of cake, crisps and goodies, and much chatting about local events, upcoming races and PBs :)

I’ll definitely be back in December for the next event - with my sights set on a sub 8:30 mile :)


  1. Good job Rach! The comment about Usain Bolt made me laugh! Man, do I want your pacer though. He is badass!

    You know there was an article in (I think) last month's RW about mile training. I thought I'd give it a go after the marathon as a bit of variety. This has reminded me to look out for mile events in future, so thanks for posting!

  2. Well done! I'd love to do a mile race, sounds like a fun challenge!

  3. Thanks everyone! It was nice to do a different distance - and it was over much quicker! :D

    Alison - the next one is in December, its near Newbury/Thatcham. The only race distance I haven't done now is the marathon! I've done all other 'regular' races from mile to half marathon. Watch this space...keep may be a while! :D

  4. Sounds fab. Well Done.
    I want to do one now too x