It was Saturday night. As I was stuffing my face with more than my fair share of Heroes & Celebrations my brother turned to me and said “that won’t do you much good if you’re running a 10k tomorrow will it?!”
My brother has never talked much sense so I ignored him and carried on (I would like to point out he was also stuffing his face with them despite planning an early bike ride…)
I was down in Dorset for the weekend and had been looking for a local 10k. I usually run the Poole 10k in June but after they dropped the chip timing last year I dropped them from my race calendar. It’s laughable when they say ‘over recent years the Poole Festival of Running has grown in size and importance and now ranks as one of the most significant road running events in the South of England’ Pah!!! This is a 10k that starts at 2pm in the Summer (where it is often too hot to run well), the finishers t-shirt made of cotton so you can’t even run in it, the small is far to big anyway, and now it isn’t even chipped!
It makes me sad as the Poole 10k was my first ever 10k and I’ve run it every year since 2003 (bar 2004) but I think it’s days are over.
Anyway, the Kingston Lacy 10k caught my attention when I was scouring the Runners World website. Kingston Lacy is an old country mansion set in pretty gardens so I knew there would be a stunning backdrop, and it was chipped, perfect! I have another 10k in the diary 2 weeks later which is a flat & fast route so I didn’t want to push myself, just enjoy it. I didn’t realise at the time but the 10k was part of a ‘running festival’ including a half marathon, 5k and kids fun run. I was only looking for a 10k but this didn’t stop me feeling a bit guilty for not running the half…
The route was lovely, I wasn’t pushing myself, as promised, and I was really enjoying running somewhere different with some country air. It was quite twisty so I couldn’t really see everyone who was ahead of me but the runners I could see were all men. I started to wonder how many women were ahead of me, surely I’ll be in the top 10, maybe even top 5?!
At about 5.5k a women in an orange top overtook me. I thought about keeping up with her as she wasn’t running that fast, but I had promised myself I would take it easy and so I relaxed and carried on enjoying the run. There were hills, there were trails and, in the last 2k there was grass that went up to my calf (clearly National Trust membership fees don’t go towards gardening…) I was a bit concerned about twisting my ankle as the grass was really long and I couldn’t see anything so I slowed down and started to resemble a bunny rather than a runner what with all the hopping around. I could still see orange-top-woman just ahead of me but a quick glance behind showed there was no one on my tail so I carried on taking it easy, I wasn’t on for a PB so, as long as I retained whatever position I was in, I wasn’t bothered.
Rounding towards the finish people were clapping and I saw Mum & Dad in the crowd, then I was over the finish line. They had a chip system I haven’t seen before which involved plugging the chip into a machine at the finish, I was a bit thrown by this so my official finish time of 48.24 was 6 seconds slower than my Garmin of 48.18 but as it was no where near my PB it didn’t really matter.
I got my medal and went to look at the results, I could only see one other woman on the list before me. Had I come 2nd?! Surely not, not with that time? Turns out orange-top-woman had won, just 28 seconds ahead of me, and I was the second female!!
We then had to wait around so I could receive my trophy, this was new and exciting, lucky the sun was shining! There was a little presentation and they gave out all the trophies, I had a trophy!!!
If I had just pushed ahead I would have also won a pair of trainers….damn it!
Celebratory bubbles with the Sis-in-Law