I love having two big races on my doorstep, the Bristol Half Marathon in September and the 10K last Sunday. There is even talk about a Marathon coming to town. It’s such a luxury to be able to get from home to the starting line in under an hour.
The weather on Sunday was perfect for running, a pleasant dry, cloudy, coolish sort of day. “Weather looks pretty ace for it” one of my Twitter friends commented.
We all have our pre-race rituals don’t we? Mine involves numerous trips to the bathroom before I leave the house – even then I still ended up queuing for 10 minutes to use the smelly portaloo, worrying that I was going to miss my start time. I didn’t.
I have a tendency to get carried away and go off too fast – no chance at the start of this race! The challenge instead was to get into a rhythm without tripping over the pavement or another runner’s feet! I was on a mission to (try to) maintain 5 minute/kilometre for the first 5K. There was no chance of that in the first kilometre.
Once we got to the Portway the road opened out and there was more space to settle into a rhythm. Through the tunnel and the traditional Oggy Oggy Oggy! Oi Oi Oi! The elite runners sprinted past on the other side of the road to cheers and clapping.
The Bristol route is generally flat except for a short drag onto the Cumberland Basin. Surprisingly this was part of my fastest split, but I was paying the price for it by the 8K mark. I really had to dig in for the last couple of kilometres, helped enormously by the great support from the crowds, including my own little fan club.
I finished with a bit of a sprint, feeling better than I probably should (could I have given more?) and my watch showing a time of 53.04. My best time for a 10K since 2009 and more than 3 minutes faster than last year, so the training must be working.. Maybe under 50 really is possible?