This week I had the pleasure in joining 19 other LFR members at the Bearbrook 10km road race.
This race is fairly local, so there is always a good turnout – both from LFR and other local clubs – and today was no exception. The weather was perfect for running, around16 degrees and overcast, without a breath of wind – so there couldn’t be any excuses really.
I arrived around 8.30, and even before I had parked the car, I was spotting the familiar black, white and red of the LFR shirts. I parked up and then headed straight over to ‘race control’ to pick up my race number. It wasn’t too busy at this time, and the queue wasn’t too long – which was nice. Number collected, I then attempted to attached the timing ‘chip’ to my shoe – I’m never very good at this, was pleased to complete it on my first attempt. I then headed outside to where all the other LFR team mates were gathering, and had a chat with some of the guys.
I always find this to be the worst part of being at a race….the hanging around at the start…I just want to get going, and start….not wait around….I did a couple of ‘warm up laps’ of the rugby fields where the race would finish – as much to pass some time as stretch the legs. I have recently switched away from marathon and ultra runs, and am now trying to get a little quicker on shorter runs (5km / 10km/ 10 mile) – and having only really done one week of this new training (plus a week in Paris eating Ice cream and burgers) I wasn’t too sure how I would perform.
After Rob had called us all together for a group photo, we headed off to the start line.
My plan for the run was thus….start reasonably easy….try to take it easy up the hill at around 6km….once over the hill steadily increase pace and finish as fast as possible.
Well at the start things seemed to go ok – the course twists down some nice country lanes and through some villages, ever so slightly up hill, until, in Wendover, after a sharp left turn you start the 1km hill.
For the first part of the race I ran alongside Dan Green and Jim Buttleman…Steve Harrison had shot off as per usual, and was just a dot in the distance ahead. I hadn’t planned to run with Dan and Jim, but we were just together on the road, and managed to form a little LFR posse (although one runner did tell us to ‘move apart and let her through – cheeky…but don’t worry, Dan passed her later on!).
When we reached the left turn in Wendover we were still together, but I knew I hadn’t been doing the long speed endurance training to keep up with Jim and Dan here, so on turning the corner I eased off a little – and the two guys slipped away…
Cresting the hill, I knew the course turned left again (by the fighter jet at the Airforce base!) and then slowly wound downhill on wider roads towards the rugby club where the finish was. I tried to stretch my legs along this section and didn’t let anyone pass me (was channelling my inner ‘Mo Farrah’) and before I knew it I was turning into the rugby club….but still had the longest ¾ of a kilometre to go, around the field. Here I pushed the pace again, and managed to pass a couple of guys….and sprinted for the finish…where once over the line I promptly lost my breakfast…ooops!
Steve H was first home, followed closely by Dan then Jim….I was followed closely by Captain Rob – who also lost his breakfast…still ‘No Vomit No Glory’ eh Rob?
My mile splits for the run were 6.24, 6.37, 6.47, 7.21 (the hill!), 6.47 and 6.37 – with a finish time of 42.08 – really pleased with that…and think I can go quicker with some more of the focused training…Cross country season – I’m coming to get ya!
Then was the BEST part of any race….watching and cheering the rest of the LFR (and some LBAC and Dunstable runners) across the line. It was great to see every LFR runner there stay and cheer – by the time the last runners were coming round the field and across the line we had a huge group of runners, family and friends cheering them all the way. Seeing the three young ladies (Penny, Barbara and Kim) cross the line hand in hand was as great as any sight you’ll see from Rio over this month….
So what’s next…well I have all the cross country races in the calendar…plus possibly the LBAC 10 in September, oh and a 35 mile Elliptigo ride coming up (gulp)…but before all that I’m hosting some coaching sessions down at the club – which I’m hoping will be useful for those attending…
So until next time, I’m signing off!