About the 10k
The course: 2 laps of the Silverstone F1 circuit. Mostly flat with a few very (emphasis on very) slight inclines. There’s a water station at halfway manned by volunteers.
Pre-Race: chip timing, plenty of free parking, lots of toilets, collect your race packs from a very organised registration. Everything you’d expect from a club-organised event (including very reasonable entry fees).
Post-race: medal, water and Soreen. Plus great photo opportunities given the amazing location.
Arriving at the park with plenty of time to spare, I headed over to the toilets before picking up my pack from registration.
I must admit to panicking a bit on the way to find registration – there were so many people around and I really wasn’t sure where I was going. As per usual I just followed the crowds until I found it, but getting in and out would have been so much easier if everyone wasn’t stood right outside! It was like the tube in rush hour there were so many people. Apparently there was a 50% increase on the previous year’s entrants, and the biggest crowd they’d ever had at around 1800 people. The organisers had communicated this before hand to give us all a heads up, which was greatly appreciated.
Anyway, pack picked up (from one of the pit lane garages!) I headed for a short warm up to get my mind and body ready. Normally at races I’m the only one doing drills before a race, but it being a club event, there were loads of other competitors warming up in the same way as me and I felt less silly than usual.
I headed over to the start line, on the F1 circuit just the other side of the pit lane, and lined up just behind the 45 minute pacer. My aim was to stay around the 7:20/mile mark as my PB was 7:21/mile pace so I felt like I’d lined up in the best place for me.
The wheelchair race set off 5 minutes before us and there was a big clap from the crowd. We moved forward to the start line, and three ladies all in cotton jackets and with a draw string bag ended up in front of me. I overheard one say they probably should have lined up further back as they were too far forward.
In no time at all, we were off. Unfortunately they had started quite a bit far forward and I needed to go round the 3 ladies in front of me. It took a few minutes as they had spread out quite a bit across the track and it was hard to get round them without bumping into the other runners going past them on either side. When I did eventually get round, I knew I was already down on time and had to get going to make it up again. I pushed on and tried not to think too much about the lost time.
First mile 7:12. While I’d made up the time, that was 8 seconds faster than I’d hoped, but I stayed calm and just reminded myself I felt good and it didn’t matter. Just needed to hang on.
Second mile 7:17. I was so happy I’d not lost too much time from the last mile and was 11 seconds up on my aim. I still felt good.
Third mile 7:28. Crap. I still felt OK but I was pushing as hard as I could. Only 3 seconds to spare.
Forth mile 7:29. Oh no. I felt really fatigued now but was still hanging on as best I could.
Fifth mile 7:27. Well, I thought to myself, I’ve been so consistent the last few miles this is probably the pace that my body wants to sit at. How frustrating.
Sixth mile 7:28. PB pretty much gone but I still pushed. My hamstring felt so tight but I kept going and didn’t give in. There was no way I was going to back off just because a PB is gone – I still owe it to myself to get the best time I can.
Last 0.2. OK I’ve reached the 0.2 mark and no finish line in sight. I’ve run too far off the racing line. 6.2 passed in 45:43 – it would have been a PB time if I’d stopped there. Dammit.
I crossed the line in 6.34 miles in 46:38 at 7:22 pace. So close to a PB time, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway with the extra distance I’d racked up.
I was a bit frustrated (read very frustrated) at myself, but I’d enjoyed the race so that’s really all that mattered. At least I’m not getting worse and have just hit a bit of a plateau.
I would definitely do this race again. It was flat, fast and well organised. I’d maybe talk to someone about how to stay on the racing line a bit better before hand though!
With entries around the £12 mark, you really can’t go wrong with this event, and it’s all that bit more special running on the F1 circuit.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back on Sunday with a training update x