Back from holiday
Having arrived home from holiday yesterday, I was straight back into training and racing. Bedford Harriers 10k is a small race put on by my running club and follows a flat route to the south of Priory Country Park in Bedford. It should in theory be a fast course, but after a week of over indulgence in the sun, I wasn’t expecting much – how true this prediction would be!
The whole family tagged along on the promise of there being a play area that the children could play on whilst I ran. As it turned out, the youngest of my offspring slept the whole time and the elder offspring wanted to watch the running race, thereby annulling my offer of play areas!
Off we go
As usual the start of shorter races are characterised by other runners who start at a break neck speed, only to fall apart after about 2 miles. Once more this was true today, one particular chap sticks in my mind. He started near me and asked for some advice on the course, I was honest; ‘it’s flat and fast’. He smile and muttered something about going out fast and trying to hold on. I wished him well and the hooter sounded. He started off behind me, passed me after about 2 miles and after about 3 miles he was out of sight, but when he passed me, he was puffing. When we crossed the bridge over the bypass at about 8 km (the only bump on the route), he was easily recognisable, he was walking! I gave him some encouragement, and he responded with a simple ‘started too fast’. Fair play for giving it a go, but sometimes I wonder!
Having criticised others for starting too quick, I too was guilty. Given my lack of running recently (due to my knee), I had set myself a 7 min/mile pace, quite why I found myself running the first couple of kilometres at 6:15min/mile pace remains a mystery. But I managed to calm down and enjoyed the last few kilometers. I’m a bit disappointed with my time (43:53) but I’ll live to fight another day.
Overall the event was really good, particularly the tea and cake back in the stadium afterwards! Thanks to all the volunteers who made the event possible.
The course is billed as fast and flat is run on a largely paved route, there is a very short piece of gravelled but off-road section about 2/3 of the way round. The route is totally traffic free, apart from cyclist and walkers. In my experience, despite being flat the route isn’t particularly fast as there is no point to relax and allow gravity to help you out. Overall, it’s a good route.