Archive for the ‘Race Reports’ Category

Race Report: John Fraser 10 – 2011 (10 miles)

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Date: 4th September 2011
Distance: 10 Miles

As part of the preparation for my first half marathon on the 2nd October I’d scheduled in this challenging 10 mile race through the Leicestershire countryside as it was taking place a handy four weeks earlier. 

Looking at race reports for previous stagings of the race with their mentions oh “hill after hill”, “killer hills” etc. didn’t fill me with much confidence going in to the race. I’d never raced this far before with my furthest being the Asics Arden 9 mile race toward the end of June and I’d completed that in 01:08:40.

Despite the new racing distance and challenging course I set myself a goal of 01:15:00 as I’d upped my average weekly mileage by 10 miles and had been training consistently well since the beginning of July.

On the day conditions were my ideal and very similar to the conditions when I ran the Two Castles Run 10k (45:28 PB): light rain and cool.

After using the toilet facilities at Race HQ (Countesthorpe College) I made my way to the start. The race acts as the final fixture in the Leicestershire Road Running League’s summer race series so, gathered at the start, I noticed the large percentage of club runners. In fact there would be only 59 unattached runners amongst the 474 finishers.

Starter’s horn sounds and we’re off!

My first mile is always about settling in to a target race pace and trying my best not to set off too quick. As I’d started in the middle of the pack it meant I had to do a bit of overtaking as I was a bit boxed in. Felt my ankle twinge a bit at 0.5 miles… great! First mile passed by quickly in 07:27.

Miles two, three and four fly by with me completing them in 07:20, 07:25, 07:23 respectively, so easily on target for 75 minutes. It’s at this point I’m hoping I can hold on to this pace while thinking “less than 10k to go”.

Mile five began on quite a steep looking part of the course… and by this point I was noticing that on the uphill sections I’d be overtaking while maintaining position on the downhill sections. Unsure if that’s a good or bad thing? I guess it’s due to the routes I run being rather undulating themselves. Anyway… with this race what goes up must come down and it did… mile 5 complete in 07:18.

I didn’t enjoy mile 6 so much and found it quite tough going… it was only when I noticed I’d run it in 07:12 that I realised why.. need to reign in the pace slightly? I don’t feel too tired… and then I noticed at the 10k point that I had almost matched my 10k PB of 46:28… the Garmin said 46:30… just 2 seconds out. That extra training is paying off!

Miles seven and eight involved more hills: up and down, up and down, up and down. They passed by in 07:22 and 07:38. By the time mile eight was drawing to a close I’d found myself in a bit of a race no-mans land with nobody close behind and other runners quite a way in the distance.

Mile 9 was pretty much downhill all the way and I was beginning to feel very confident of smashing my target – I kept telling myself I only had two miles to run and picturing where I’d be on one of my local routes and working out how slowly I COULD run and still finish in 75 minutes. Anything to pass the time eh? Mile 9 took just 07:05.

The start of the final mile was uphill but I felt I had plenty left so powered up the hill knowing it was the last one. By this point I was overtaking quite a few runners which gave me more confidence.

When I finally reached the top of the last hill it was a great relief to know there was just 0.6 miles remaining – I was knackered. A little further down the road and there were supporters which perked me up a little as it meant the end was close.

The race finishing straight was on a grassy field and I tried to give it a little kick at the end to finish. I  finally cross the finishing line line and stop my watch: it read 01:13:40 (!!) I was delighted with that and went to collect a bottle of water and my goody bag which included a John Fraser 10 branded flask as a memento.  A nice touch.

Official finishing time: 01:13:43 (PB)

Very happy with my finishing time and I think I’ll be back again next year as I enjoyed the route very much. The ups aren’t too demanding and I think the downhill sections make up for them.

Mile Splits: 07:27, 07:20, 07:25, 07:23, 07:18, 07:12, 07:22, 07:38, 07:05, 07:10

Garmin Map/Details below:

Race Report: Two Castles Run 2011 (10k)

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Distance: 10k
Date: 12th June 2010

Very late with this one… had written it but not published it.

In the couple of weeks leading up to this race I’d been coming in to a bit of form in training so was confident of improving on my PB of 46:24, which was set 4 weeks before running the Northbrook 10k. When the day finally arrived it was my ideal running conditions: cool but not cold with very light rain – excellent.

The race starts within the grounds of Warwick Castle with the finishing line at Kenilworth Castle and this year had 4000 entries; 3071 would finish the race. I can only it was the light rain and weather forecast putting people off? The weather wasn’t as bad as forecast.

Anyway, enough about the weather!

After watching the mass warm up I went off to find the start with 20 minutes to spare before the start of the race – it wasn’t very clear to me where I should be standing with regard the time markers… they were small and I only saw 40:00 so I stood with it in my sights. Five minutes later and there was a mass movement to the actual startline rendering the markers useless anyway.

The race starts and we’re away… took me just over a minute to cross the line as the start is in a quite a narrow passageway.

As I left the castle I noticed ahead of me a Northbrook runner who I’d overtaken at the last minute in the Northbrook 10k so I figured I must keep up with her so notched the pace up to catch up and keep her within my sights.

The first mile especially was well supported with people lining the streets and, according the the garmin, I managed to get through it in 07:18.

My ‘private’ goal for the race was 45:30 but I’d told everyone sub 46:00 minutes which would mean knocking 30 secs off my PB and I felt I could do that. The inital pace kept me well within that goal.

Mile two flew by in 07:11 and it’s just after the point in the race you climb the hill at Leek Wooton, which after reading previous race reports had me slightly worried but I handled it okay with a reduction in pace with mile 3 went by in 07:30 – still keeping me on track for a my goal of 45:30. (I’d need the overall average pace of run to be 07:19ish)

Miles 4′s bit hazy in my mind with some ups and downs, I completed it in 07:23 so still on track. Mile 5 was also completed in 07:23 but I found that quite tough after entering Kenilworth we turn into a housing area and I didn’t enjoy that mile at all. It felt like the route weaved around roads and I can only imagine I was thinking too much about how tired I was.

Mile 6 was completed in 07:09 and was my fastest mile split. I’d managed to pull myself through the tiredness and up my pace to try and claw back some time.

As we approached the castle the support was loud – I’ve not run a race with so many people supporting – and in the rain too. The Northbrook runner I’d been just behind/in front of pretty much the whole race was just ahead of me and just like the Northbrook 10k a month earlier I overtook her in the last 200m.

While collecting my medal and t-shirt I noticed I’d not stopped my Garmin on so I’d not known what my finishing time was – I’d thought I’d gotten under 46 but was left doubting it.

Later that day the results were posted and I discovered my chip time of 45:28 :)

Overall I was delighted with my time and that’s now the final planned 10k of the year over. After my next race, Asics Arden 9 ( * now run… race report to follow!) next weekend (19th June) my training will focus toward my first half marathon: Coventry Half Marathon, which takes place the day before my 30th birthday… 2nd October 2011.

Finishing Time: 45:28 (NEW PB by 0:58)

Garmin info below: