9.30am Sunday morning, standing outside a little sports club in a small village, chatting to some friends and revelling in the fact that it was no where near as cold as last year, yes, it was time for another race!
Phil and I were running the Tenterden 5 for the second year in a row, Phil looking to beat last years time and me looking to finish in a respectable time without causing myself any further injury!
We set off up a bit of a hill and settled into the race, I started fairly strong, a bit too quick but pushing my pace to get out of the starting pack, my knee feeling OK to start with, but after the first mile it was starting to ache a bit, still I was feeling alright, but just before the half way point coinciding with a section of uphill, I got stomach cramps that reduced me to a walk. After the water stop, I tried again, gradually pulling my pace back and catching people back up.
Despite feeling like I was having a shocking run, its a nice race through quiet country lanes, with the occasional need to keep out of the way of an oncoming tractor, and the sun was shining on the mildly hilly course.
By the final mile I was feeling stronger again, cramps had subsided and there was only the sore knee to contend with, and as the last stretch is downhill I was able to finish strong, and much to my surprise, had completed the course in the same time I ran it in last year, and without the cramp could have taken a few minuets off, despite the knee injury, so was happy with that overall.
Phil had cruised through the race, taking 6 mins off his time from last year, and coming in a fantastic 19th place and there were a lot of brilliant results from the ASPT crew all round. All in all a good way to spend a Sunday morning!