This was my first ever race so I did not know quite what to expect, even though I had supported Chris at the event last year.
It was very well organised at the Town Hall and Chris and I collected our numbers and dropped our bag off quickly and with no issues. I was surprised that I didn’t feel as nervous as I was expecting to when pinning on my number.
We watched the 5k race and cheered Adam in then made our way to the 10k start. The weather was sunny with a cool breeze which was perfect for me. There were a few drops of rain whilst at the start line but it soon stopped.
I positioned myself near the back as I remembered that it looked like a bit of a squeeze going up the High Street last year and then the bell rang to start the race.
The High Street was filled with cheering crowds and drummers and I found that I had made it to the top at a quick 5k pace but I felt good so decided to keep going at that for a bit. Going down the roads to the hospital was familiar territory so I tried to ignore the fact that I had run 3k and imagined that I was just starting my run near the hospital.
I looked around at the scenery along parts of the Wick Lane section to distract me and also thought about training tips and advice – yes, at one point I was visualising holding a Pringle in each hand!
The bit that I struggled with most was the section of the A-Road at around the 7k mark as I had remembered it being flat but it had a gradual but energy-sapping incline during the race!
After unintentionally getting water all over my face at the second water station, I knew it was “just” through the orchard/farms section, up Heartbreak Hill and then down to the Finish. At this point, all of the straight sections seemed to go on forever with runners dotted along the roads stretching far ahead into the distance.
Finally, I made it to Heartbreak Hill and took it slowly up the first half. I needed more air so stopped running and power-walked the rest, running again once I’d reached the top. Everything now seemed to take ages but I eventually rounded the last corner and the finish line was in sight. I summoned the last of my energy, saw the clock ticking and powered across the finish line! I made it in 1:13:54 chip time – beating my previous 10k pb by several minutes.
It was a brilliant race, with people dotted all round the course to cheer on the runners, and it was great to meet up with friends at the finish line.