Having run well at the undulating Wakefield 10K last month, I thought I would have a go at the equally lumpy Round the Tor 10K in Glastonbury. The race is one of the largest road race events in Somerset, and is held on a mainly rural course that undulates around the ancient and mysterious Isle of Avalon, finishing within a stones throw of the alleged burial place of King Arthur within the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey. I last ran this race in 2013, in a time of 45:19 (a PB at the time). The town was busy with Mayday celebrations and Beltane in addition to runners competing in 3K, 5K and the main 10K race, so although the 10K started at 11:20am, my cheering team and I arrived at 9am to park up and collect my race number from the town hall.
With a couple of hours to kill before the race start, we went to a cafe and I enjoyed a pot of tea and a lovely big piece of vegan apple cake. This marks a distinct change in my racing career- I would never have been this chilled out about it and able to eat previously!
I started my warm up and strides an hour or so later, which allowed me to suss out where the start was. After some incomprehensible chat from the town crier and mayor, we were soon off on the undulating route, up the high street and round the Tor. I kept looking at my watch and thinking “this might be a bit ambitious, maybe I should rein it in”, but I felt quite good once I got going despite my legs being sore from the weight lifting I did a couple of days earlier so thought I’d just go with the flow and run hard when I could, and do what I could manage on the hills. I managed to pass the girl in 3rd place at the 4K mark (it turned out she was only 15!) and reached 5K point in about 19:49, so thought I might be in for a good time.
With each km ticking by I felt more confident I was going to be able to keep up the pace, and after the final steep hill, I turned the corner and could see the finish line gantry in the distance. I ignored the ache in my stomach (which I know means I’m right on the limit!) and ran as fast as I could down the hill towards the town hall. I heard Stuart and my friend Christine cheering me to the finish (though I didn’t see them as I was focused on that finish line!), and was delighted to finish in 40:20.
After a long wait for the presentation ceremony, I scooped up medals for 3rd lady overall and 1st V35, and was 24th fastest by age grading, so also took home £15 of Easy runner vouchers. All in all a fantastic day out and a very enjoyable and well organised event!
By Chris Townsend The Bath Half Marathon is an iconic race that I had been thinking about running for a while so, when a number of my work colleagues signed up, it was a great Read more…