EAS 10k, Castle Combe, 2008
Well, this was race number 10 in my attempt at 40 events at the age of 40. I wasn't putting myself under any pressure, but with some good races behind me I felt I was in with a shout at a PB. So, with a target of 37.49, I set my watch to a pace of 3.42 per km, which would equate to 37 minutes. It was a stiff target, but I wasn't that bothered if I didn't get it. The course was billed as having definite PB potential, and as a flattish racing circuit it certainly has, but the day turned out to be very windy, and in the event I fell just short of that best time.
As we were walking to the start, it began to rain quite sharply, so without further ado the starter got us underway and I bravely or foolishly hung on to the pack who went off at the front. After a u-turn (I guess this made it possible to have start and finish close together and still make up the certified distance) we were heading back past the race hq and out along the race circuit. This was interesting and different compared to road racing - at first...Castle Combe is fairly exposed and bleak, with a few trees and fields around it but generally a feeling of being somewhere quite featureless. This mean't there was no distraction, and it was just a case of concentrating on maintaining pace and keeping up with the runner in front, staying on schedule and sticking to a pretty constant threshold pace. This I did for the first 5k, and found myself just on PB timing, but I was feeling tired, especially on the backstraight where we had to run into a vicious headwind. So, after my first (and rather hopeful) km time of 3.21, I ran 3.34, 4.03 (coming into the headwind), 3.49 (turning the corner), 3.38, 4.11 (headwind again, more tired on lap 2), 3.57 (slowing even on the corner), two laps totalling 7.46 (forgot to hit the reset button), then when I came to the last km I was able to dig in hard and overtake the guy in front for a 3.37. All this added up to 38.00 dead, so close to a PB even in that headwind.
Yeah, I know, if there was a headwind there must have also been a tailwind but it never seems enough to cancel the headwind out!
(image by andrewsansom.co.uk)
Still, I ran hard and stayed focussed, it was otherwise a fairly uneventful race, and I finished feeling like I'd had a good workout. Results wise I was 14th and 3rd vet 40+, so not bad.
Fran came in at the one hour mark, and when they called her name and club out they actually pronounced "Sri Chinmoy" correctly, which was nice :)
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