Back to racing – 10km and Half Marathon
5 weeks after my 100km, and probably 5 weeks sooner than I’d have liked I lined up for the Bristol 10km, an excellent mass participation event, and also the 2nd race in the Run Britain grand Prix, an innovative and exciting series of races which pits some of the best road racers in the UK against each other, with a generous prize fund for the top scoring athletes with points collected over the six race series (best four results to count).
The Reading Half Marathon had been the first in the series, and although I’d been training for the 100km my result had gained me good points when finishing 9th Brit. I wanted to get a ‘finish’ from Bristol just in case illness injury means I need to miss a race later in the year.
The race is always a good standard, and although my legs were recovering well, thanks mainly to training in my On Cloud runners and Cloud Surfer, I was still a few weeks away from having the work required to run a good 10km. I tried to commit to a good pace early in the race, but passing 5km in just under 15.30 I knew it was not going to be a great day for me! From 6km to the finish I was hanging on, my body struggling to cope with lactic acid which it had grown unaccustomed to over recent weeks! For the last 300 metres of the race I was actually throwing up! A surprisingly hard thing to do when still trying to run hard, and a particularly gruesome sight for the poor spectators lining the finish straight. I finished in 31.28 and 28th position. Although not a fantastic time or position the race served a purpose, I moved up to 6th in the Run Britain grand Prix rankings – a ranking I hope to improve throughout the year. I would love to finish in the top 3 overall, it would be a great thing for my sponsors On-Running and ColourMyKit – I shall keep racing hard and see how the year progresses!
The following weekend, on the 12 May I decided to race again, in the Chester Half Marathon. I’ve never competed in this race before, and the lure of some excellent prizes and a chance to visit my good friend Steve Vernon (5 times Northern Cross Champ) prior to his stag do later in the year was enough to make the long trip from home worthwhile.
The Half went much better than the 10km, although only a week apart I felt I was already feeling the benefit of a hard race, and a half marathon was much more suited to the training I’ve been able to do since the 100km.
The race started and I soon found a good rhythm, breaking away from the field with a group of 5 over the first two miles. By 4 miles the race was down to three, myself and two Kenyans now living in the North. Kenyans typically run in surges, and today was no different, but as I covered a break from race winner Mohammad Aburezeq at 8 miles and noticed we had taken a couple of metres from eventual second places Tarus ELLY I made the mistake of saying – “KEEP PUSHING, WE ARE GETTING A GAP”. Keep pushing he did, dropping me, and shortly afterwards I was passed by TARUS who bridged the gap. From this point until about 1 mile from the finish the gap remained a stubborn 10 seconds – but I could not close it. I found out after the race that ABUREZEQ and ELLY are training partners, I wonder if their tactics had been pre arranged – if so, fair play as they certainly worked!
The last mile of the race is a tough one, and with my chance to move up the positions gone I lost a few seconds to first and second, but finished content with 68.34 for 3rd place, feeling far stronger than I had the week before.
I now move onto my next phase of training and really feel that another 6 weeks of hard training, and being 6 weeks further on from the 100km I should be in excellent shape! Fingers Crossed!
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