Having ran the Cheshire Half on the same roads at Arley Hall last July I had really been looking forward to running the Cheshire 10k, knowing that the course is flat, giving a great chance to run a PB and beat the 42:42 time I ran one month prior. However, on the 18th February I pulled my Piriformis muscle putting me on the bench for 5 weeks. I only got the all clear from my physio on the 23rd March with the advice of trying a slow 5k test run out on the Friday, rest Saturday and see how the 10k goes but don’t push it too hard. The 5k test run out was hell, I was slow and I mean really slow without trying to be slow (that’s a lot of slows there, I’m sure you get the point) and I was aware of my Piriformis from 1 mile in, now I am still not sure whether that was actually a niggle or just that I knew it might still ache so I was focusing on it. So I went into the Cheshire 10k pretty well unprepared, not 100% sure I was over my injury and worried that it may flare up again and cause me to miss the Paris marathon which was in two weeks.
Race day came, I prepared as I with all my races now. I have breakfast consisting of 2 hard boiled eggs and a bowl of Frosties. Not your typical pre-race recommended fuelling, but it works for me, and what works for one doesn’t always work for others. 1 hour before the start time I hydrate with a sachet of Science in Sport Go Electrolyte mixed in 500ml of water, I tend to go for the Tropical flavour, just because I like the taste more than the others. That is it for my pre-race fuelling. I use this method for all races from 5k up to marathon as well as cycle sportive. I would be interested to hear what pre-race fuelling other people have tried or stick to religiously.
I got to Arley Hall early to bag a good parking spot for a quick exit, this backfired as they filled the furthest points first, oops. This gave me plenty of time to get my race number, get lots of stretching in and fully warm up, plus the glamorous side of running, the portaloo / near by tree usage. Being conscious of what my physio told me “take your time, don’t push too hard” I lined up with the 50 – 55 minute crowd.
I set off slow and steady, feeling no pain and generally pretty good, the first mile of 7:57 gave me the confidence to push on and start moving up the field going out 7:44, 7:41 and 7:39 for the next 3 miles. Then my lace came undone, something that happens quite frequently with the Brooks shoes I find (these have since been replaced), but barring mile 5, each mile was quicker than the last as my confidence grew. Whilst I wasn’t running as fast as I was one month before, I was running and running pain free. I came home in 47:36, five minutes off my PB but for me just running and finishing this race was the greatest reward. I finished in overall 381st out of 651, 310th male, 52nd in my age category. I always like running here, the medals are always great, the course is flat and the views when out running the country lanes are lovely. The Cheshire Half finishers Tee was pretty naff last year but the Cheshire 10k finishers tee this time around was pretty cool I thought, certainly wont be missed when wearing it.
Would I recommend this race? Absolutely, everything is always so well organised from race number collection, car parking, course marshalling to medal/tee hand outs but most of all, it is a very fast paced race and a great chance to have a crack at a PB. I missed out this time, but I will certainly be back in 2018 to have another crack. The next Cheshire 10k is on November 4th if you fancy it, take a look at www.cheshire10k.com unfortunately I cant make that race due to running the TCS New York marathon that weekend…. Any excuse to give that a mention haha