Sunday, May 17, 2009

Crouch End 10k: rain, doughnuts and more rain.

This morning it was a short walk over the hill to the start of the Crouch End 10k. During the night the heavens had opened so surely it was all set for a crisp, dry race? Perhaps not.

We queued up and, about five minutes before the start, the heavens we went, around the start which was in the local park, being slowed up by the narrowness of the course and the number of runners, which meant the first kilometre passed in a terribly slow 5.35m. The rain was sheeting down now and I was soaked through.

Kilometres 2, 3 and 4 passed quickly (after running a marathon 10km seemed quick anyway) and soon I had caught up with a friend who was running too and we ran onto kilometre 5. I had been aiming for sub 45 minutes on this run but halfway around I was at 25 minutes so clearly not on schedule. I made a quick calculation and figured if I really ran hard I could do 5k in 20 minutes.

So I pushed on and went careering around the course, overtaking everyone in sight; there's no better feeling in running that reeling in runner after runner, using the overtake as a catapult: you can almost sense their annoyance at someone passing them at pace. It's good, self-centred, motivation.

To kilometre 8 and I needed to run the last two kms in nine minutes something. Just about doable. Perhaps. So on I went, the rain lashing incessantly down, the wind buffeting us from all sides, and I spied the 9k sign coming into view. I sprinted on and after around 200 metres had to slow down. How the marathon professionals do it, I have no idea. I now had two minutes to finish the final 800m. Not going to happen.

I ran on and entered the finish area in the park. Around the final few corners, including a great sprint around the final bend to overtake two runners who had just overtaken me (ha!), and home in 47m 37seconds. Tantalisingly close. I think the lesson learned here was, need to run the first 3k faster and ideally start further up the field to avoid the 50m runners. This was my third 47 minute 10k, from three, so at least I'm consistent.

A delicious doughnut from a local bakery and a banana later and, with my two runner friends found, we headed home. As we did so the rain stopped and the sun came out. Typical.

P.S. In the race information booklet that was sent out, there was a comedy little mantra that read, 'remember, you'll go faster with pasta, but when you get to the end make our free doughnuts your friend.' Which I love. I actually thought about this at kilometre nine. Yum.

1 comment:

Leigh said...

Well done! an extra well done for braving the winter-like weather. Me on the other hand, looked out the window and didn't fancy it.