I was reintroduced to some extended family members, who I hadn’t seen for the best part of 25 years, at a Christening in London a few months ago. We got on really well and found that a few of us were into running, so decided to put the Leeds Abbey dash 10K in our diary for an excuse for a get-together. Unfortunately it turned out to be on the same day as Cheddar’s invasion of the Unicorn frolic, so I hastily searched for another race “up north” as an alternative. We all signed up for the Wakefield 10K, which, it turns out, is the exact opposite of the flat and fast Leeds 10K! Undeterred, I set off for Wakefield on the train and was spoiled by my lovely family with delicious vegan food and treats.
Race day soon came round, and crazy organisation meant that marshals insisted on escorting runners to the start line 30 minutes before the start, so I only had time for a 5 minute warm-up. I was in the first wave and was actually only a few feet from the start line. There was plenty of time to stand around and lament the fact that I decided against joining the huge queue for the toilets, but once the start gun went off, the course soon took my mind off that!
The run was definitely a challenge, although I strangely quite liked the undulations. Just when you thought you couldn’t go on up this hill, you had a reprieve of a bit of downhill. The course was a there and back route, so every rolling downhill on the way out was marred by a niggling reminder that it would be a challenge on the way home! I got through the half way point in 20:32, which I was really happy with, but didn’t expect to maintain. I managed to overtake a lady on the final long drag before the turn around, but the next girl was so far ahead I didn’t think I would see much of her. Every km marker I passed gave me a little boost that I still felt pretty good and able to push on the downhill bits, and before I knew it I was on the home straight. A helpful spectator shouted at me, “keep hunting her down…you can take her!”, and so I put on an ambitious flat out sprint far too far away from the finish line! However I managed to hold on and did indeed hunt down the lady in front, to come home in 4th place in a time of 40:17. This should get me the 1st V35 prize, but the prize-giving was shambolic, so I shan’t hold my breath for anything arriving in the post! I was totally elated with this time- my best for nearly a year and on very little actual running training. It was a successful day out for the rest of the family, with two PBs and a successful run without aggravating an injury for another.
All in all a great success- we might even do it again next year!