This was the 3rd time I have run this race, the first year in 44.30, then a 6 minute PB the next year to 38.50, and this years goal is sub 36, but NT10k isn’t the flattest, and I’m hoping to be fitter towards the end of the year, so knocking 1 minute off seemed like a sensible aim, sub 37 has a nice ring to it as well.
After arriving with Greta and Mike there was plenty time to use the baggage bus and to chat to a good turn out of striders, its always pretty crowded in the parks sports centre, 1600 people at the start, the 3rd biggest race in the NE. With 10 minutes to go I thought I’d go for a jog around and some strides to warm up, it was 2 degrees and I had felt my hamstrings being a little tight the day before, not wanting to start with cold muscles I didn’t stop moving until a minute before the race. On the startline I spotted a rival… second in the harrier league but I’d beaten him over the past two races … there’s a target.
Race plan: The first mile is downhill, and fast. I thought that there was no point trying to slow myself down on that trying to evenly pace all the race as the next mile after is uphill, and I’d probably use up more energy trying to slow myself down. The mile after would be the slowest and then trying to keep 5.57 minute miles for the rest of the race until the last mile where I would wind it up until I unleash my inner Jamaican.
1st Mile: Keeping calm and not heading off with the leaders, but taking good advantage of the downhill. 1m – 5:38(5:38/m) – 92cal – 10.64/16.19mph
2nd mile: Onto the quayside, Gareth passes me looking very strong and moves away from me quickly. I’m by myself now, so its a good thing there isn’t a strong wind otherwise I’d be moving no where. Right turn up to the hill that I’d been mentally preparing myself for for the previous mile, driving the arms and legs, catching a few people who were originally way ahead. A short down hill to the second, bigger hill and the same situation there, catching people and still feeling great. 1m – 6:07(6:07/m) – 94cal – 9.82/12.47mph
3rd mile: A slow second mile, but onto the flat(ish) now and time to start hitting those 5.57 minute miles. Or so I thought, a couple checks of my garmin tells me that I just can’t manage to get up to speed, or below 6 minute miles, at this point the sub 37 was gone. 1m – 6:08(6:08/m) – 92cal – 9.79/11.82mph
4th mile: I spot a sedgefield harriers vest in the distance which I believed to be a friend from parkrun. “Right” I thought, “there’s a target, go get it”. Over this mile, every turn he and his pack slowed on and every hill where he lost pace, I kept going, gaining ground until finally I’m behind. A quick “alright big man” to let him know its me, and now we can push on together, all 5 of us in this pack, now we can start dipping under the 6 minutes. 1m – 6:08(6:08/m) – 93cal – 9.78/12.41mph
5th mile: The pace feels like its upped, i start to develop a stitch-like pain in my left collar bone area which becomes worrying, but after this mile I seem to forget about it. Still not ideal pace but it’s an improvement. 5) 1m – 6:04(6:04/m) – 93cal – 9.88/12.32mph
6th mile: Ok, its go time. Although there was still a mile and a bit to go, I think I have the stamina to start winding it up from now, as we hit the long straight before the turn off to the finishing 100m. Only one guy from the pack follows me, and unfortunately its not my pal. But I’m glad there’s someone to push me along, he’s really picking up the pace, and thankfully so do I. 1m – 5:55(5:55/m) – 93cal – 10.15/12.62mph
Last 0.22 of a mile: We overtake a fast lady, and two struggling runners, before turning the corner to lots of supporting strider’s cheers, finishing straight now. I look at my garmin, it says 36.50, I have no idea how it was that low at that moment as I hadn’t done the maths, but I sprint for the line, outkicking the person I was with. Unfortunately, it was at theis moment I noticed the junior I had spotted at the start, 9 seconds ahead, uncatchable at that point, but maybe if I’d spotted him a mile back…who knows… Cross the line, knackered, but Garmin says 36.58! 🙂
I suspected that would mean the gun time would be over 37, but having checked the results this morning, I am happy to confirm, it was 36.59. GET IN. 2nd junior, very almost first and 30th overall out of 1600 odd, pretty pleased. That time also puts my 23rd in the country (as a junior).
After inspecting the goody bag, unfortunately not with the yummy energy sweets like last year but with a more mile shirt and socks, I managed to see Gareth finishing just as strong as he started, under 38 minutes and in the top 50 also. Graeme and paul also having great runs and Richard Hockin storming in!
Other striders had great runs, many PB’s and overall we were a pretty smiley bunch afterwards 🙂
Had a lovely McDonalds to celebrate, before heading off to work. But the magical time will be SMASHED this sunday at blyth valley 10k, just you watch.
|1||HUDSPITH, Ian||Morpeth Harriers||MV40||30:25|
|6||DIXON, Alyson||Sunderland Strollers||F||1||34:03|
|837||HUDSON, Melanie Louise||FV35||53:16|
Men’s teams: 18th, 44th & 57th out of 58
Women’s teams: 20th & 30th out of 32