This is a Stable News x Stablemaster 10 Race Report.
This wasn’t a TT … it was a real race! You know, … where loads of people are running the same course, at the same time, with a start and finish line … remember those?! The COVID-friendly event means that a rolling start gives it the feel of a time trial in many ways. With Scott Overall at the start line, it is clear there will be some fast times. He wins in 29:59 on the day.
Racing is a different mindset. Having not done a time trial in months, Coach Stazza set me a task of a 10K TT one week and a 5K TT the following, with the 10K race on Easter weekend. Much uncertainty in the run-up as to whether it would even go ahead. It gets moved to Easter Saturday … far better than Easter Monday … Easter eggs without guilt on Easter Sunday!!
I’d been feeling in good shape, but a bit of winter lurgy, coupled with the first dose of the AZ vaccine, left me feeling groggy for a week or two. I blew a gasket in the 10K time trial, then hit a 17:27 PB in the 5K TT … 36:30 shape according to the big man …
Race day is eight degrees (perfect!) and fairly windy on the exposed Kempton Park Racecourse. Mostly tarmac, flat as a pancake, with some traipsing through the mulch of the racecourse … like running through treacle on heavy legs! But a fast course, nonetheless. My last 10K race was in September … a 38:04 PB. I plan to set off at 5:55/mile and hold it.
Thankfully, the chap next to me is going to try to break 36:30 too … we pace together the whole way. I set off, and the first mile is on track … the second mile, into a bit of a headwind, brought me back to reality. And then I settled into a pace … slightly picked up … I felt I could hold … but the last mile I was hurting. I knew I was close to breaking the 37 marker. Near the end of races, my addled brain always convinces itself I’m off my target … I felt it was going to be just over 37 … but thankfully my pacing buddy elbow bumped me to say we got this with less than a quarter of a mile to go.
Pleased as punch with my splits, negative for a strong finish … 5:52, 5:56, 5:47, 5:47, 5:48, 5:45 … and the last 0.26 (on Garmin) at 5:23. Brutal. I didn’t leave anything out there. 36:24 gave me 26th place overall, with an age grade 4th in the V45 category. A proper race PB of 1min 40sec … delighted. And the best thing is I feel there is more to come!