Rob [the funky gibbon] Ashworth contacted me a week ago asking if I knew of any mile races coming up, he'd just run 5.11 at a open track meet on a very windy day and this had set off a burning desire to break through the elusive 5 min barrier. With no mile races available I got together with Brian Grice who is a certified course measurer to put on our own little event to help Rob fulfill his dream. I decided the Kings Gardens offered the best chance of producing fast times, so Brian kindly and painstakingly set about measuring and re-measuring the course and setting out marker boards around the course. We then assembled a team of desperado's to help rob break 5 minutes, the team included Rob [The chicken scratcher] McGraph, Young Harry [very fast 400m runner] and Steve McLean, who has run 2.22 for 800m this year. So there we were on the start line with me on my bike ready to pace them round the two lap route, I counted them down 3-2-1-GO! The guys blasted off with me peddling madly behind trying to catch up. Round the first corner Rob 'The funky gibbon' accelerated hard up to 13.7 mph, I shouted for him to calm down ! They went through the 1/4 in close order in 72 seconds, I slowed them down abit, maybe to much as they reached the 1/2 mile in 2.31. Now it was time to get the party started and I encouraged the guys to quicken their pace. The Garmin was now showing well over 12 mph, into the final 1/4 and young Harry came through with a late surge which left Steve McLean falling off the back of the group, round the final bend and the two Robs took control as they thundered down the home straight in an impressive display of raw speed, I shouted out the speed on my Garmin as they kicked for home 12.5 -13.2 -13.7 and then 14 mph to the line! 4.55 showed on the clock as a very happy Rob Ashworth took the tape just a hair's breadth infront of Rob McGrath with Harry just 3 seconds behind in 4.58, Steve on tiring legs finished with 5.14. 'AWESOME', mission accomplished! This had been fun. Thanks go out to Brian for making this possible for Rob.
Robs Mile achievments over the years, Rob says;
"I broke the 6 min mile (5:54) in Dec 2004
In 2005 went down to 5:22 then 5:11 (Aug 05)
Next achieved 5:08 then 5:07 (May 06)
Pushed to 5:05 in June 07Had a rest in 2008…"
Impressive running for a 45 year old, well done Rob!
Notice; for legal reasons this was not a race but a social meeting of like minded people! and this was in no way connected with the Southport Waterloo Running Club and no animals were harmed in the making of this epic event!