Driving home from work in the torrential rain did not exactly fill me with enthusiasm for an evening 10K. This was also combined with memories of the Kirkley half marathon which reminded me that the route wasn’t exactly flat!!
Upon arrival I was relieved that the rain had stopped and to everyone’s amazement the sun began to make an appearance! I looked around for familiar faces and was surprised that I couldn’t see any club colours considering it was such a local event and part of the club championship.
The start of the race was rather odd. We all gathered at the registration point where we were told that the race marshal would lead us to the start line in his car and that we should follow behind in an orderly fashion…. so off we went! To begin with, we all wandered slowly up the road clearly trying to conserve energy. Then the race marshal shouted out of his car window that we needed to get a move on!! Everyone was quite bemused by this but we did as we were told and upped the pace to a brisk march. I definitely wasn’t the only one who was wondering where we were going!
The reason for the rush soon became apparent. A pop up start line had been dispatched from the back of a van onto the road (which was not closed) and those drivers who were out for an evening jaunt were definitely not expecting to come across a crowd of runners stood in the middle of the road!! On the plus side, the mile(ish) march that we did was probably the best warm up I have ever done before a race!
Just before the start, the race marshal made an announcement “Hope everyone enjoys the race, the first 5km is uphill (massive sigh) have fun… 3, 2, 1 go.” And we were off.
Everyone knows my race tactic is to go off far too fast and then hang on for dear life. So true to form, this is what I did. I managed to make good progress at the start despite the hills and when we got onto a section of straight road I could only see one woman ahead. Wow – I could actually come second I thought… just need to make sure I don’t let any ladies past. We headed up towards Shilvington before turning off onto quieter roads. At this point the sun was shining and it was actually quite blinding so I begin wishing for the rain to return.
Somehow I managed to maintain the starting pace and by 5k I had caught up with the woman in front. Oh my goodness – I could actually win something I thought!!! From this point on I was determined not to let her get away so I tucked in behind her and hung on. For the next couple of kilometres the only thing on my mind was Ogle. I absolutely love Ogle. Not just for its pretty little cottages and quirky name, but every time I see the sign for Ogle I always know I’m nearly home, whether that be the end of a torturous half marathon or the end of one of my bike rides. It’s like the little pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Eventually Ogle arrived and with it came some extra energy! I could feel that the other woman was starting to tire. Did I dare make a break or was it too early?? I felt like I was in a proper race – I’d never been in this situation before, it was stressful! I knew there was roughly a mile left from this point, I decided that I could probably kill myself for the last mile if I just thought of ice cream or cakes or anything other than my legs. So I decided to make a break. My technique can only be described as absolutely legging it. I had no idea if she tried to keep up or not, I didn’t look back.
To say I was happy to cross the finish line was an understatement. The race marshal told me I was first lady home and asked if that was my plan?! I just burst out laughing, then realised I couldn’t actually breathe and nearly choked.
After the race I found out that that I wasn’t the only Pont representative and that Nick Winslow wasn’t far behind winning 1st place for his age category! So although there were only two of us, I think it’s fair to say we had a winning night for Pont!