Monday, 25 November 2013

Race Review: Running Show 10k

I keep glancing over to the clock on the sideboard. I'd have liked to have left the house half an hour ago but my house guest is still eating breakfast and I promised to drop them at the station before going to Sandown Park. I have rarely felt less prepared for a race. I've not run for weeks, with the exception of treadmill work, and no further than about 3 miles even then. It's cold and I'm tired from a full day of conference and a gig the night before. I've only the vaguest of ideas about the course layout and all I know is I need to register by 10am. It's 9:15 and the journey takes 40 minutes.

A rather aggressive car journey later and I get to the registration desk at 10am precisely. The people behind the desk don't show any signs of turning people away in the near future so I start to relax. Grasping my race number I wander around the Running Show for a bit to try and calm down. I snaffle some samples of Clif bar and enjoy a soothing and warming hot chocmalt drink from the chaps at Après. Breathe. It's fine. Just get round. 

By the time I get myself to the start area and meet up with the Write This Run girls I'm feeling a bit better and have amended my goal from "just get round" to "run a sub hour". The starting group is much smaller than I expected but the atmosphere is lively. I got race envy last year when I saw people wandering around the show with their medals so I was thrilled to discover that my conference ticket included entry to the race this year. No brainer, as Kevin Bacon would say.
The Write This Run girls. Photo from Write This Run
The course is two laps around the exhibition centre and part way round the race course. There are some long inclines that I hadn't been expecting but I hack away at them, picking off a couple of people. Afterwards I can see from the split data on my Garmin, which miles were uphill. I'm buoyed by James from 4Distance giving me a shout out as we pass each other going in opposite directions on the first lap and by seeing Debbie, who ran my pub quiz for me earlier in the year, marshalling at the top of quite a steep incline outside the exhibition centre.

We're off! Photo from Write This Run

I talk myself into walking the final incline, once I've passed the enthusiastic marshalls, and am passed by a lady in purple, who I'd overtaken moments earlier. "Come on, we've got this" she puffs, so I pick up the pace and run hard to the finish line. I break my PB by 20 seconds, completely unexpectedly, amazing! Lady-in-purple and I thank each other, we both did better than expected and I head back into the show, beaming, to freshen up a bit and guilty try on kit that I won't buy and will leave smelling slightly less fresh.

The Running Show 10k is well worth taking part in if you go to the show next year. There's a fun run for the kids and a 5k option too. Just don't expect it to be flat!
Bling and PB

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