the start line of the Pednor 10 with 115 other eager New Years Eve PB
chasers! This was my first 10 mile race and so a certain PB on the
cards ;-) The Pednor 10 is organised by the Chiltern Harriers and
starts in Chesham. The course 2 x 5 mile laps on rural country roads.
The loop was a very simple out and back with the first 2 miles going
straight out along a flat winding road which was followed by a big
sharp climb. The final 2.5 miles of the loop descends gently back to
the start where we did it all again!
For the 31st December it was a ridiculously barmy 12 degrees! Vest
weather for sure. Simon, Pete and I took our positions at the front of
the pack! Why not :-) Simon and Pete certainly had reason to be there
with their speed. I on the other hand was expecting to be a little way
behind them both. As expected Simon led out hard at 6 mpm pace with 5
or 6 other runners, followed by Pete with 2 other runners chasing not
far behind. I started at Pete's pace but soon dropped off realising I
wasn't going to be able to keep it going. I shuffled along at a more
sustainable 6:30 pace with a handful of other runners around me.
Simon soon disappeared into the distance and was sure to have an
awesome race. Pete continued to pull away and by the big hill at mile
2 he was gone. At this point I was caught by another runner who was
looking strong. He passed me before the hill but I pushed hard up the
hill to try and put some distance between us. That was to no avail as
he stretched out a gap on the flat at mile 3. Two weeks of no running
was starting to show. I held the gap for the remainder of the first lap.
Mile 3 to 5 was almost all gradually downhill with 2 sharper descents
where you could really let rip. I heard some heavy footsteps from
behind as another runner pushed hard past me on this section. I wasn't
going to let this runner go so easily though so hung in and stuck to
him like glue. The remainder of the first lap and the entire second
lap saw him and me jostle for position all the way. He would push and
then I would return the favour. This certainly helped both of us post
a faster time than would otherwise have been the case and kept other
runners behind us at bay.
I pushed hard up the hill on lap 2 and put quite a bit of distance
between us. However somewhat inevitably he again made it up on the
flat with is loud stomping gait. This was helped by me stopping at the
water station to drink from the cup without pouring it down me. I
still haven't mastered the ability to drink whilst on the run! I
latched back onto him as he passed and we continued to stay close. By
mile 9 he had pulled a gap which physically and perhaps mentally I
wasn't prepared to try and close again. I was already pushing hard to
stay with him throughout lap 2 and I was spent.
However the race wasn't over. A chap in a green chiltern harriers vest
was keen to make his mark at 'their' race. I was quite content with my
race and seemingly let him past without too much of a fight. It's one
of those race moments that you look back on after and think that
surely I could have stuck with him and pushed on. We were after all
less than 1/2 mile from the finish. However I didn't have anything
left as this photo proves.