HHH BAL distance stars Chris Busaileh and Mike Cummings travelled up to run a 3000m race in the Trafford Grand Prix, essentially the northern equivalent of the Watford open meetings but run in the altitude of Manchester. Both were seeking new PBs (which stood at 8.44 and 8.55 respectively) with Chris’ having stood for over 7 years.
Chris describes his race is as follows: The race set off quite slowly and the first lap involved lots of bumping and barging which wasn’t ideal and I ended up a little boxed and had to be careful to make sure I stayed on my feet. I tried to get into a rhythm and we hit the first km in 2.53/54 which was slower than I’d hoped but I wasn’t feeling particularly good so I didn’t take it on. After that there were a few surges but noone really got things going and at 2k there was still a decent sized front pack. At this point someone made a move which split the field and he got a slight gap.
Despite the relatively slow pace the various surges had taken their toll and it was starting to hurt. I followed the lad in front of me who was in second with me now in third and someone sat in just behind me. The pace increased noticeably and we hit the bell in 7.26. At 250m I started to kick for home and tried to chase down the leader who had about a 25m gap. I was closing down all the way but ran out of track and crossed the line about a second behind in 8.29.57. I had been hoping for more like 8.25 but considering the slow early pace and that I didn’t feel great I was fairly happy.
Mike now gives his account: I didn’t feel that good in the warm up but blamed the northern altitude and me being the southern-most athlete, probably in the history of the Trafford open meets. I tried to start quickly off the line due to the large field so as to avoid the barging but felt it was too quick so eased off in the second half of the first lap. This was a mistake as I ended up going through the first lap in 73 which was way off pace. I clawed some of this back on the next lap and then tried to settle into a rhythm. I worked through the field picking off athletes but this meant I didnt benefit from being in a group. I hit the bell in 7.45/6 and picked up the pace as much as I could crossing the line in 8.52.05. Like Chris I had been hoping for slightly faster but was nonetheless pleased with a pb and will be more aggressive from the start in my next 3k.
To underline the quality of the meeting our race featured GB marathon star Andy Jones (finished behind Chris), the 400m contained Jenny Meadows and spectating was O”lympian Tom Lancashire who evidently didn’t feel he was fit enough to take on the might of HHH.
Results are at this link:-