If you have read my blog about this run last year you might wonder why on Earth I went back to run this again, having not really enjoyed it that much, but truth is, this is one of the only normal 10k runs I have ever done, and it’s nice and flat, and what I really wanted was to use it as a bench mark to see how much, if at all, I had improved my running in the last year.
Like last year this race is a run around Kenley Airfield, which is a 3km loop. You run three laps round the loop, with a final kilometre around to a war memorial where you finish.
It was really cold, with puddles of ice on the ground, but thankfully not quite as windy as the previous year and without the drizzle. The organisers gave a quick explanation of the race, and then we were off.
We set off and I was looking to beat 56 mins from the year before, and hopefully the 53 mins that I had run in Ashford a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I had been suffering some stupid injury niggles over the past few weeks so I wasn’t too hopeful. I started off near the front and got swept up with the fast runners, so I set off a bit too quickly, but I soon settled into a more sustainable pace for me.
The first kilometre seemed to fly by, but the run wasn’t any more interesting than last time, the difference being that this time I was mentally prepared for this. For the first lap and a half my feet felt like concrete as they failed to warm up, but eventually the blood flow returned and running got a bit more comfortable.
Three laps round and with 1km to go, a girl I had been yo-yoing with, but that I had been holding off, finally overtook me, and despite only wanting to beat my own time my little competitive streak kicked in and I started to push a bit harder, then as the war memorial that served as the finish line came into view I gave it everything I had left, overtook her and finished strong.
Desperately trying to unlock my phone and stop my tracker to see my time, I grabbed my medal (which had been improved slightly over last years) and finally looked at how I had done – 51 mins. Absolutely delighted, 5 whole mins off last years time, I had done it, objective achieved.
Despite only going out there to beat my time, I was interested in where I had come. Last year the results were split into male and female and I had come 12th girl, this year the results have been published overall with no way to tell where you are in your gender unfortunately, however since I started right at the front, from what I counted and from what I was told by spectators I think I managed 4th or 5th girl (I was 62nd overall). At the end of the day, your position depends more on who else shows up, it was the time I went out there for, and I am really proud of how I have improved in the last year, I may still not be very fast, and I probably never will be, but I can keep trying to be better than I was, and that’s all that matters to me anyway.
Despite finding this race dull, I will probably go back again if I get the chance, you never know, one day I might just manage a sub 50min 10km!