The Sticker 5 Road Race
I ran the Sticker 5 two years ago. It was at a time when I was finding my confidence running again after over a decade with an injury. I wasn’t going to review it this time around but then I thought, “why not?” I want my race reviews to be inclusive of all the races I complete, regardless of distance or terrain.
For a village race, the Sticker 5’s certainly a goer. OK, it’s not the most challenging course but it’s not the easiest either. 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 organisation of the race is pretty good. It’s part of the Cornish Grand Prix series and for some runners, it’s important to complete all in the series. I like that you can enter on the day (I did). In case you’re interested, being unaffiliated, it cost me £15. The race HQ is the local football club so there are good toilet facilities and a bag drop.
What’s The Course Like?
The course starts with a gradual incline which flattens out before a nice downhill into the village of Sticker. 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 going into the village and tire myself out before I got there. I was pleased with my efforts on this one. I’m not bad on hills, they are hard to avoid in Cornwall and despite not putting in all my effort, I overtook a few runners on my way up.
Miles 2 and 3, from what I remember were standard undulating. There were some lovely downhills, offering a reprieve for a moment or two. For me, running downhill isn’t as easy it looks. I never run at full steam as I lose my posture. Instead I try and hold my form, hips slightly pushed forward, making sure I’m running tall. It’s inevitable that I pick up the pace a bit though.
Mile 4 did have a hill. I thought it would be awful but it wasn’t too bad. My memory was telling me it would be “the big one” but I have since realised I was thinking of another race altogether. Mile 4 was harder than 2 and 3. There is a hill on the approach to the finish, but it’s so satisfying when you get there. Even though I am training for races beyond 5 miles, and I classed this as a recovery 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, there was almost silence. 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 race, all runners a victory pasty was enjoyed by all.
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).
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?