|Pre-race calve stretch|
|He needs no introduction...what a legend!|
|Game on ... (all photos courtesy of Paul Douglas)|
I remained in 7th spot but close behind to the two guys in front of me. The from four were further ahead, with the guy leading looking like he was starting to open a small gap between himself and 2nd place. I watched from afar and thought how jolly different this race was with me (the slow ultra runner - as know in the club) actually up there in a 10k race. Who would have thought it.
The km markers were great because alike mile marker they obviously come and go far quicker. Now I know that sounds really stupidly obvious but the difference it makes to the mental side is big. Anyhow we were soon 5k into the race and my breathing was getting heavier. No surprise really considering the pace. Miles 1, 2 & 3 were 5:50, 5:58, 6:08 so now averaging just under 6 minute miling at around the half way mark. I wasn't conciously looking at my watch however and was simply running to keep on the heels of the guy in front.
I passed a Luton AC runner probably a bit before half way, and then settled once again. A new runner also entered the fray and over took me and continued pass at a sub 6 pace. I wasn't goig to try and stay with him at this stage, and instead kept on the stay steady path.
The big test came on a long gradual climb between 5 and 6k. I dug in as did the guy in front. At this end of pack no one was giving away places lightly. A Thame rnuner came on my shoulder at this point and this time I decided to stick with this one. We were rewarded with a nice descent down to the 7k point, before I was back on familar ground with roads that I knew. What was coming next was the infamous Shenley Hill which starts ascending gradually before a big sharp kick at the end. And this was 8k in with just 2k left to go. I could smell the finish line and kicked up the hill keeping a similar cadence to the flat, just with slightly shortened strides. Once I crested the summit I got the arms out and windmilled down the other side taking back a place. I still felt strong too so held off the challenge for him to come back at me. We rounded a right corner and started off down the final 1k straight. By this point we were running sub 5:30 mile pace and it felt it. Mile splits from 3,4 & 6 were 6:10, 5:43, 5:48.
|and across the line in....|
|36:56!! I was quite a happy chappy!|
This surpassed all my expectations and I was very pleased with how my race had gone. I had gone out hard, yet still had enough in the tank to run a negative split which I would nevr have thought possible at that pace. So a new 10k PB by over 5 minutes I think. As I said I hadn't run this distance for a long time so a PB was always on the cards but by that margin is awesome.