My first (10k) running race

Last Sunday I ran my first proper 10k event. It was one of my two goals for 2019:

  • Run a sub-20 minute 5k parkrun
  • Run a timed 10k event

The Marriott’s Way 10k run actually turned out to be the Marriott’s Way 10k race, which to be honest a bit of a shock as I noticed this after I had entered…

I guess I should have really paid more attention when I signed up. Either way it didn’t put me off. The route ran point to point from Alysham to Reepham on the Marriott’s Way (disused trainline)

In the 2 weeks in the run up to the event, I did a couple of 5k and 10k runs in my local woods at different paces and battled an on/off cold. Because of the cold I was unable to make my Wednesday training sessions which was a bit of a worry as I feel I get so much from them.

On race day the heavens decided not only to open, but downpour non-stop with big rain that caused widespread floods across Norfolk and eventually shut some of our roads. I did question whether the race would even be run because it was so torrential.

By the time of the start (I was in wave 3 of 4 – each of 125 runners) I was already soaked through. The Mayor gave a little speech at the start and we all went off.

Finding a pace for something I have very little experience was hard. I had done a faster parkrun the morning before which I struggled through. But I managed to find a rhythm and tucked into 4th place in my wave of runners. I decided to try and keep the guy in front of me in sight and when we caught the backmarkers of the previous wave up, overtaking them gave me a little boost and smaller targets to aim for to catch and overtake.

The water and rain was persistent and didn’t ease for the whole run. This meant that the trail became very waterlogged and puddles formed. People were running on the grass at the sides which I found pretty slippery and more treacherous than running blindly into varying depth puddles. I like to think that my mountain biking adventurousness helped me run through the puddles here. Yay for bikes!

There was a warning given at the start to be careful of the sinkhole that had opened up at 7km and I was thankful to see a man in a hi-viz guarding the hole when I got there.

At the end of the trail the route went onto the road before it came into Reepham marketplace where I was able to pick off a few more backmarkers. I was very thankful for them being there to tow me along as by then I was kinda feeling it a bit as well as being cold and soaked through. Some of the puddles had been over my knees as I ran through them (no exaggeration).

Out of 369 runners I finished in 15th place with a time of 42:44. Incredibly happy with that as my first race and first timed 10k.

Next week it’s the East Coast 10k at Great Yarmouth. A road run with 1000 runners entered!

Twenty seconds?

This week has been an active one. Two 10k pb times and a few seconds shaved off a Strava segment in the woods.

After a disappointing 5 hours sleep and catching myself nodding off on the couch before leaving, I somehow bagged a Parkrun time of 19:48 with an average pace of 6:32. That’s 20 seconds off my PB at Catton. I came over the line 7th out of 459 runners. I’m pretty happy.

I’m honestly not sure how long I’ll be able to keep this pace up but I’ll ride it out for now. It’s fun.

Someone took this nice pic of me at the finish line…

Cracking 20

Since I got home from New Zealand at the end of February I have been going to Parkrun on a Saturday morning. So far I have done 12 but only 11 have been logged.
I have a few nearby to me here in Norwich but I usually go to offroad the courses as I’m not a big fan of road running.

I had set myself two goals this year for running:

1 – To run a 10k event
2 – To try and get a sub 20 minute Parkrun

Previous to today I had gotten my personal best time down to 20.14 and then 20.09 but both times I was breathing out my bum by the time I got to the finish, so I wasn’t sure where I might find those extra seconds.

Apparently today was the day. I came home in 11th out of 368 runners with a time of 19:52 🙂

A lovely sunny morning at a new venue for me – Gorleston-on-Sea Cliffs Parkrun. It was all tarmac so not my preferred terrain and even though I had forgotten my headphones it was still enjoyable – theres even an ice cream shop just at the finish too!

Marathon, you say?

Last night I was watching this interesting YouTube video about a lady called Courtney Dauwalter who was doing an Ultra Marathon. The race was 200 miles. Even though I have no immediate desire to run 200 miles, I was thinking about what a brilliant adventure it would be and how far my little legs could possibly carry me.

I guess I was maybe in a slightly vulnerable at this moment.

I happened to be sent a link to a local trail half and full marathon while watching and will now be running my first (trail) marathon in February 2020.

Scared? No.
Apprehensive? Sure.
Excited? Yes.