So Race 6 finally went ahead a week and one day later than planned due to the Hull race being cut short by 1km!!. It took a while but I found a race in Southport, the build up wasn’t great as I over did the training at the end of the week and could hardly walk on Sunday due to very aching quads. I spent most of Sunday trying all sorts to make sure they were ready for the race. Thanks goes to the Twitter users who gave me a few tips.
The weather was another factor as the forecast was for high winds with strong gusts around race time and after two bad experiences with wind at Rother Valley and Fleetwood the omens did not look good. But as I was running out of time to get a race in before end of May I still made the trip with my wife and daughter and arrived in time to see the finish of the 5km race, the race was set in Victoria Park just back from the actual sea front and the wind wasn’t as bad as first feared. After picking up my race no and chip I had a few official photos done for free as part of the deals on offer to entrants and then wandered round to the message tent and had a fantastic massage to get rid of the tightness in the legs which was a godsend.
After what seemed like ages the clock slowly ticked round to the start time and with it the driving rain, I ended up at the start line right at the front and after a few announcements we were off charging across the grass onto the pathways, we looped clockwise round the bandstand and then back past the start line towards the edge of the park and round the top to complete the first km (in around 3.27) I found myself in the top 5 for the first km but edged off as I had a time and goal in mind so let others pass me as I focused on the task in hand.
At the top of the park we took a right and straight down and around the band stand for a 2nd time and then heading around the same park loop and completing the 2km we then headed off out of the park and up on to the road towards 3km which I noticed had a small incline, after passing 3km we turned left and then left again and head down the road around the perimeter of the park passing 4km half way along the straight road. The race proceeded up and round and then back into the park and then backwards around the route we first did as we hit 5km in a time of 22 mins. I was well on target for my PB and was averaging 4:28 per km a bit quicker than planned but was really enjoying the race by then even with the rain.
The route took us once again around the park and band stand as we past the start/finish line and headed back round and out to do the 2nd lap, the km’s were flying past, 6, 7, 8 and before I knew it I was heading towards 9km and the clock was not even 40 minutes, I had been pushing as there was a runner that kept up with me and being competitive I did not want to give my place up but as I hit 9k I let him past and eased right off the gas, with race 7 only six days away I did not want to go too fast and risk not hitting another PB so the last KM was very tactical. I know some frown upon this but as this is a charity challenge the PB’s = Sponsorship so that come first. With that In mind I entered the home straight in sub 46 so the job became a slow walk and I crossed the finish line in 46:59, still 17 secs faster than my previous race.
So goal achieved and the 6th 10k race completed and my 6th PB. So first the positives, the race was excellent and would do it again as the race organisation was excellent, a chipped timed event is always good and the people running it was very welcoming, so thank you to them. The challenge now marches on to Lincolnshire this Sunday with the goal of doing a 46:30. This is where the negative, some people said that me slowing wasn’t very sportsman like, I felt hurt by the comment as me slowing so I am able to complete my challenge effects no other run and I achieved my goal. How I see it is like at the Olympics where sprinters will do what is need which going all out to reach the final and then giving it everything in the final. I view my challenge in a similar way, I am still pushing each race to go quicker but making sure the challenge reaches the final race and then I can give it everything and more in the last race to finish on a bang.
For someone who is very competitive being tactical is hard as I could have gone hell for leather today and knocked 3, 4 or 5 minutes off my PB but then I could race Sunday not feel 100% or have bad weather and then not PB and the challenge is over, the sponsorship is lost all for a quicker PB that would not mean anything. I will for now take stick for some quarters for being tactical at races but for me right now it is about doing the challenge and making sure I get to the last race with 12 PB’s and a time that is possible to beat one last time.
Next year I can relax and aim to get as quick as possible, anyway rambling over. Here are few snaps from today will add anymore if I can find them online later this week. Remember if you have not sponsored me and would like to do so please click the link to the just giving page.
I started running in 2012 with my 1st race being the Great Yorkshire Run. I did 3 races in 2012 and then started a challenge in 2013 to run 13 x 10km races for the NSPCC. I joined Steel City Striders RC in 2014, after a short spell at Sheffield RC, also the team at Accelerate Performance are helping me improve as a runner. Currently I have a 19:42 5km PB, a 40:59 10km PB and a 1:34:27 PB at Half Marathon distance.