I signed up for this race back in January after running a 39:46 at the Tatton Park 10k in windy conditions. The hope was for better less windy weather today and attempt to run a sub 39.
In fact, I ran a sub 39, well actually I sneaked a sub 38 at the February TATTON PARK 10K so I didn’t really need to go all out today. Although, the Feb Tatton Park run was also really windy so could I run even quicker?
Anyway, I decided that this wasn’t a goal race and scheduled in a massive 14 hour training week between Mon – Sat and would just run as hard as I could but not go for a time.
Despite that, I was setting out at PB pace and see how long I could hold it for.
The half marathon and 10k runners were all due to go off at the same time, this was going to be concussing from a pacing point of view and also knowing what position I was in. We would all run together until the 10k runners split off at 3.2 miles run 0.3 miles down a lane and then turn to head back along the route we just came. Hopefully the other runners will leave us space to come up the other side of the country lane.
From my experience of running the 2018 Wilmslow Half, I knew that the course was fairly flat and fast with a general incline over the last few miles to the finish.
In 2018, the half was the race where I got calf cramps 6 miles in and struggled on to the finish, that ultimately affected my training for Chicago and the race in Chicago. With that in mind, I decided against running the wilmslow half this year and went for the 10k.
I ran a 1.5 mile warm up from the start line into Wilmslow town centre and back again, then waited around the start for 20 mins for the race to start. The weather was dry, pretty chilly at 4’c and a little breezy, but hey let’s face it, if I am running a 10k this year, its form for it to be windy as heck right.
I lined up right at the very front. My thinking was, that would put me ahead of a lot of the slower half marathon runners and maybe the other 10k runners will get held up in the crowds. I couldn’t see anyone else with a 10k race bib near me so looks like that plan might work.
There was a total of 4,100 running in either the half marathon, 10k or 5k fun run, the narrow lanes could be busy, but starting near the front I should keep ahead of that.
Splits: 5:46, 6:08, 6:12, 6:21, 6:15, 6:25, 6:02
The plan was to go off at PB pace of 6min/mile and see how long I can hold it for. I think on a good day without a massive training week I am capable of running a sub 37, but today, I would be happy if I could manage a sub 40.
The gun went, I went off with the half marathon leading pack, they were flying and I was struggling to keep up even though I was running a 10k these boys were pulling away. I checked my watch and I was running at 5:15 pace and still dropping back. I quickly got my ego in check and slowed my pace, let more and more people come past. I did really think that I could stay at the front running at 10k pace with the half marathon guys. Hats off to them holding that pace, I couldn’t even stick with them for the first mile.
The first split was under my target, I had 14 secs in the bank but I knew then that I would end up slowing as my legs were feeling the weeks work already. Mile 2 – 3 were downhill which would help but my pace did slow. By the time the 10k guys split off at 3.2 miles I had lost that 14 sec buffer and it was pretty much back uphill to the finish now. I hit the split point in 3rd place though which gave me a boost, that was soon dashed when 7 guys came powering past.
The front two were minutes ahead but I could see 3rd place and a potential podium. If I hadn’t had the tired legs I could have pushed on now and tried to catch him but I just didn’t have it in me. I did increase my pace in mile 4 and climbed back up into 7th. I then made a big error towards the end of mile 5, I looked at my watch and saw what I thought was the 5 mile split. Great only 0.2 miles to go I thought, I kicked off and started to build for a sprint finish, I went past 6th, then 5th, then 4th, thinking these guys haven’t got anything left, they aren’t kicking on I can take the whole lot here. I looked at my watch, 5.3 miles, WFT!!! still one mile to go!! then to top it off we turned a corner to be faced with a steep hill. That was it, I was done, I couldn’t keep that pace up for a further mile and the hill took me out. I dropped back to 7th again and coasted home.
I crossed the line in 7th place in 38:25 and felt a bit disappointed. Only a 38:25 I thought when in fact that is my second fastest 10k and only 37 seconds off a PB despite a big training week and the very early sprint finish.
All in all a good day of racing. I love the race day atmosphere. The crowds, the pre race tension and then that release when the gun goes, the tactics of racing, pushing, surging and passing people, pushing harder than you think you can do, not dying and smashing those goals. Today wasn’t a PB but it was a win, I raced, I had fun, I enjoyed myself and I ran my second fastest 10k after a 14hour training week, something that gives me hope for the future. In fact, should I sign up for another 10k in April in the hope of those perfect weather conditions and a sub 37…….. tempting.