A Personal Best At The Sticker 5

Runners from the waist down

The Sticker 5 Road Race

I ran the Sticker 5 two years ago. It was at a time when I was returning to running after injury, and trying to find my confidence. I decided to come back, and take part in this running event again.

Sticker is in mid Cornwall, between St Austell and Truro. It has a peaceful village atmosphere and is host to this popular 5 mile race every May.

For a village race, the Sticker 5’s certainly a goer. It packs in 3 hills over the 5 mile distance. It would probably be classed as “undulating” in Cornwall, but possibly hilly for those running it from elsewhere.

The Sticker 5 is also part of the Cornish Road Running Grand Prix series. It’s the 7th race in a series of 15 road and multi terrain running races held over the year in Cornwall. For some runners, it’s important to complete all races in the set.

Man's legs running

You can enter the Sticker 5 on the day (I did) and as an unaffiliated runner, it cost me £15. The race HQ is at the local football club so there’s good toilet facilities and a bag drop.

What’s The Course Like?

Woman running down steps in woodland
Sticker 5 – It’s not a trail race!

The Sticker 5 starts with a gradual incline. This flattens out before runners have a nice downhill run into the village. You then hang a right and embark on the first hill which ends just before the first mile marker. I remember this hill. A friend warned me a few years ago not to start off too quickly. I was pleased with my efforts on this one. I even overtook a few runners on my way up.

Miles 2 and 3, from what I remember were standard and undulating. There were some lovely downhills, offering a reprieve for a moment or two. For me, running downhill isn’t as easy it looks and I had to remember how to run downhill with confidence.

People running a race

Mile 4 involved another hill. I thought it would be awful but it wasn’t. My memory was telling me it would be “the big one” but I have since realised I was thinking of The Tywardreath Trotter.

Mile 4 was definitely harder than mile 2 and 3. There’s another hill on the approach to the finish, but it’s so satisfying when you get there. Even though I’m training for races beyond 5 miles, and classed this as a training run, I found it hard to keep the pace and momentum during this final mile.

A man cajoled me into keeping my pace with him which was just what I needed. So thank you whoever you were.

Where’s The Cheer?

I don’t know what was going on with the Sticker 5 spectators. In the metres leading to the finish line, it was very quiet. I think people were waiting for friends and family to come in and were having a yap. I found this a bit disappointing. Surely one of the uplifting things in a race is the cheer of the crowd as you get closer to the line? Maybe they were fed up with cheering by the time I got there. Who knows?

All runners received a mug (thank you, a nice change from a tee). With this being a Cornish running race, all runners a victory pasty was enjoyed by all.

A tray of Cornish pasties

Race Results

So, how did I do?

First I want to contextualise. My finish time 2 years ago was 43.14. I was aiming for about 41 minutes, secretly hoping for a sub-40 (but I didn’t tell anyone).

Woman running on road

According to my Garmin, my splits were: 7.55, 7.08, 7.39, 8.19, 8.21 (my second mile is always my quickest on shorter distances).

Garmin finish time: 39.22.

Official race time: 39.30. The interval and threshold sessions are paying off!

Hello 5 mile PB! *chair dancing right now*

Have you had a good race recently or scored a PB? Or just had a really enjoyable race experience regardless of your finish time?

Happy Running,

Pen x.

Author: plbedford

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