I'm now well into my training for the Great Scottish Run and Loch Ness Marathon in the Autumn but I'm still desperate to cut down my 10K time. I haven't done a 10K race since February so it was time for another crack. I’ve done a vast amount of training since then for the marathon so I knew I had a decent chance of a PB.
My chosen race was set in the beautiful surroundings of Lee Valley Park, in Waltham Abbey in Essex, on a gorgeous hot summer's day. Entering these kind of races is a great opportunity escape the hustle and bustle of the city and is a great wee day out! It was a very well organised event and I particularly enjoyed the classic tunes they were playing out of some speakers before the race. They included all the classics I listen to on Real Radio and Gold FM so it got me relaxed at the start!
The race was started by Mark Richardson, Olympic silver medallist and World Championship gold medallist no less! As I tend to do, I got away very quickly and I was in fact a bit of an early pace-setter. I led a group of about 5 runners. We were going at a very fast pace of around 3:20 mins per km and I knew I was out of my ‘comfort zone’. By the 4K mark I had started slowing a little and the eventual winner of the race sped off into the distance at around this point. Then I started a battle with the remaining runner. We were pushing each other very hard and stealing the lead off each other at various points. It was pretty epic! Somehow I got the energy to push away and tried to get a comfortable distance between us.
But then a guy from the original pack came from nowhere (you can see him in the pic above), he must have been saving his energy for the last km or so! I tried to battle back bit it was no good. At this point I was most concerned about where the guy behind me was as I was determined to hold onto 3rd place for a podium finish. Then I saw the finish line and hit the boost button as you can see in the above pic. It was some sprint and I was so close to catching 2nd place – came within a second! And although I didn't even get a glimpse of him for the 2nd half of the race, I was only about 30 secs off the winner. I would have taken 3rd place before the race though and I was more delighted with smashing my 10K personal best, finishing in 35 mins and 48 seconds.
There were a number of special aspects to this race. Firstly, I smashed my PB and did my first sub-36 minute 10K. Secondly I achieved my highest position in a proper 10K race. And thirdly, I actually won a silver plate, presented by Mark Richardson. As you can see from the photos of the presentation, I was a very happy boy!
Next target, to go under 35 mins…
Time: 35:48 (PB)
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