Thanks for all the well wishes from yesterday. I was ready this morning to aim high and push for a sub 60 min 10k. My fastest time (from 2010, and on an easier course) was 1.01.28, so I wanted to beat that. I went to the lucozade website and copied down the split times I needed per mile (9.29 per mile basically) and then I wrote down the km splits too as it suddenly occured to me that there would be km markers and not mile markers. They ended up being 5.54 per km, but seeing as I never pay attention to km times it was just for me to check at each marker.
The course starts off on a small country lane (I lined up at the back of the 55-60 mins time section, along with my brother who was also running), and then right after you cross the start mat you go along an old railway line (basically a muddy and stony path), a very steep uphill section, and then through a lot of fields, some woods, and finally back along some of the first section, across some playing fields to the finish. It has always been seen as a tough course, and they had changed the route this year to make it a little easier. There were supposedly no bottle necks (there used to be a style, and a few cow gates, steep downhill steps and a few other countryside things), but there was one where you had to go through a narrow gap in a hedge row to get onto some fields.
I kept checking my watch, and I kept the little bit of paper in my hand so I could check it at each km marker. For the first few kms, I was ahead by about a minute, but then I lost that time as I had to queue to get through the gap in the hedge (I met one of the Sweatshop runners there, and she said she had seen my brother a bit further back too). After that there was a long uphill section through some fields and I found that very tough indeed- the sun came out and it suddenly got very hot (I only had on a t-shirt and capris, but no visor or anything)- there was no shade and the mud was hard and rutted which seemed to make it tougher still. I was still doing OK for the times, although I am not sure that the markers were in the exact right places (which I am not complaining about, but the 5k marker for example was before I got to 3 miles on my watch- even allowing for a bit of weaving they are probably out by a bit)- I think I had around 30 seconds of leeway. I gave the water station a miss at around 7 kms as by that point I decided I would just wait until the end. There were some very narrow sections across fields and I could feel myself being very put off by the people overtaking as they were breathing very hard and sounded so close! I tried to move over when I could, but at some points the path was barely wide enough for one person to run across. At one point we ran across a field (of wheat perhaps?) and I found that off putting as the leaves kept brushing on my legs and I was convinced I was going to tread on one long leaf with one leg, and then trip over it with the other foot. Anyway, one thing I find hard at races is controlling the adrenaline. When we got to the 8km marker there were a few more people out, and I get that surge, which then leaves my legs feeling a bit wobbly. I am not sure how to deal with that really. There was a very steep downhill section (very stony too!!) and I did try to speed up, as I think my then I was cutting it fine, but I think I was being a bit cautious still.
Finally we reached the path near the fields, ran over a little bridge and then I could see the end! Just the edge of the playing fields to go. I think I had a minute to go on my watch and didn’t think I could make it, but I pushed as hard as I could!
I stopped my watch as I crossed the chip mats, and I was amazed to see I had made it in one hour (and about 30 seconds I think it says- very blurry pic!). I walked around for a bit, put on my medal and had some water, and waited for my brother as I knew he was a bit behind me.
There is the finish line! Excuse my finger in the way- I didn’t notice that when I took it! I really like the race as they have a 2k kids race earlier on, and a few stalls on the field and a bouncy castle too! A nice family morning out.
The medal has the race name and year engraved on the back. My Mum picked us up (Andy had dropped us off) and dropped me off at home as the parking can be very busy there.
Yes, I am awful at taking my own photo, but Andy has gone to the football today (otherwise he would have run the race too) so no-one around to do it for me. My face was all salty- I have not had that feeling in a while. I think it is actually quite warm out there, despite the cloudy weather.
I had some mango coconut water (my fave), a cereal bar and a little chocolate (we brought this back from Nice last May- I had forgotten all about it!) before a shower, and then had some lovely sourdough toast and an apple.
I checked the official results- 1 hour and 34 seconds! I will take that! It is a pb for me, and as Rose pointed out to me on facebook, it was an off road course so it was tougher than the same distance on roads. The last time I did that course was back in 2010 where I finished in 1.03.55, and my most recent 10K was the one in Nottingham in 2011 (1.01.33- that was on a gentler course too), so I am really pleased to beat all those times and get myself a new 10k pb!
I need to pop to the shops now, and then I have some work to do but at least I can do that sat down! Happy Sunday folks! 🙂
15 thoughts on “Wheathampstead 10K done!”
Congrats on the PB 😀
And yes, a course like that is definitely worth a 59:xx on the road. My trail 10Ks are WAY slower than my road 10Ks…I’m talking at least 5 minutes here!
I’ve always been intrigued by those Clif Kit’s Organic Bars…yet another product I’ve yet to see in the darn UK!
Thanks – the bars are basically like lara bars so much more natural than normal clif bars- a leftover from our holiday!
Thanks too- I had sub 60 in my head as my dream time but I am so pleased with the pb still 🙂
Nice job!! Never seen those kit’s bars before.
Woo – great job on the PB!! And a great time for a 10k too. I love the medal, definitely one to show off!
Off road is always much tougher than roads – my 10k time offroad is a good 5 mins slower than on it so you did brilliantly to PB.
The Kit bar looks yummy, that’s just my peanut butter crazed brain picking it out over the other lovely things you had 😉
I was looking back and none of my 10K’s were on roads- they have all been through trails or woods or on tracks. Need to keep an eye out for a road one I think.
Ahhhh so pleased for you, it really sounds like a tough course underfoot. Pavements can be treacherous enough let alone fields and fences and gates!
Well done! Definitely good work on a trail run and the fact that you had to wait to get through the hedge gap. Its so much harder running through fields and rough terrain than just flat road. But it is a lot more interesting.
I really hate running close to other people. It really puts pressure on you. I don’t mind seeing them but hearing them gets me nervous.
I agree it is more interesting- it was a pretty route- at one point there were bluebells as far as you could see.
Congratulations! And that time on a course like that is definitely equivalent to a much faster one on roads 🙂
I always love your race recaps – and hope you had a chance to relax at some point yesterday!
Yes I did relax don’t you worry- after I did some work I put on the marathon talk podcast and pottered in the kitchen.
Congratulations! Especially with all the hills, I could imagine that being hard but also very rewarding (plus super pretty scenery to keep you entertained during the race) 🙂
Thanks 🙂 Yes the scenery was lovely so worth the tough hills!
Wow, congratulations! What a great time, and a pb too 🙂
Big well done on the new PB! Especially if the course was pretty much all off-road. You would definitely have a Sub 60min time if it had been a road race by the sound of things. 🙂
I really like it when races offer something for the supporters as well, with the 2k race and stalls. It makes it a much more enjoyable whole family day out.
Thanks! Although all my 10k’s have been off road courses- I need to find a road one I think just so I can have an official sub hour time 🙂