Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Regency 10K at Leamington - 15/04/2012

The day after Coldeale I headed to Leamington with Zoe for her final tune up before the London Marathon. Chris Penny had suggested racing the week before as a confidence boost and to get into the midset of running through a big crowd (he should know about preparation for marathons having done 2:17 in his prime) and when Zoe and I talked it over we thought it might be a good idea.

We got parked up and headed to the start field with (we thought) plenty of time left, joining the queue for the loos about 30 minutes before the start. With five minute to go we were still in the queue with only eight portaloos for 2,000 runners. We eventually did manage to use the facilities in the nick of time, and only had a minute or so to get on the start. As a result we started about half way back through the field.

The first four miles were on narrow-ish bridleways around a park and golf course, and I found I was stuck in traffic a lot with slower runners, so adopted a burst - easy - burst -easy approach to passing, using the verges and edges of the fields as much as I could. After four kilometers or so things started to thin out a bit just as I got onto the wider road section. I grabbed a cup of water at 4.5 kilometers and had a couple of sips.

From here on it was just a case of trying to maintain a good pace and form for the remainder of the race, which was routed through the picturesque Regency streets of Leamington town centre (actually I wasn't looking much and found that out from the programme). I had a rough spell from 6 to 8 kilometers but kept the pace up and ran through it with a fairly strong finish, concentrating on form and nice short strides at a high cadence.

It seemed to work - I ran a new PB, finishing in 44:25 (old best was Ellesmere in 48:00). This was a slightly easier course, but I negated that by having to run through half the field. Note to self for next time. Zoe also did very nicely, finishing well up the ladies rankings (7th V35 I think) at a race distance which doesn't suit her.

My splits (per mile) were 7:08, 7:26, 7:26, 6:48, 7:17, 6:52 and 1:28 in from there. The first 5k was 22:47 and the second 5k 21:38 (average 6:58/mile or 4:20/km) - I'm really pleased with a big negative split here even recognising that it was helped by the crowding in the first half of the race. My best 5 mile split was roughly 35:49 (average 7:10/mile).

All in all it was a pretty good morning's work, topped off by a lovely post-race cooked breakfast provided at short notice by Zoe's friends Jo and Graham.

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