Sunday, September 6, 2009

To run or not to run?

That was the big question this weekend. I'd entered the Great Yorkshire Run a big field 10k race in Sheffield but 2 weeks ago strained my hamstring and since then had only managed a couple of light jogs. Even though it probably wouldn't have been what the doctor ordered curiosity of what racing with 7500 runners would be like eventually persuaded me. So this morning I set out with 3 goals

- finish without breaking myself
- finish in the top 1000
- try and prove my first run (when I did 42.02) wasn't a fluke and get within a minute of that time

The previous race had been with a field of 450 odd so I wasn't sure what to expect with such a massive amount of other runners. We had been asked to give our estimated time so that we could start with similar paced runners. The start was a speedy downhill section which unfortunately also had to be climbed at the finish. My guess was that everyone would get over- excited on this start and that I should be ready to let most pass me initially and burn themselves out. The reality was surprisingly different, Boxed in I couldn't believe how slow most had started. It felt like I was in the wrong start group, although I suspect many runners had just dreamt up a fantasy finish time. As a result I had to weave in and out like a slalom skier for the first couple of kilometres quickly falling behind my hoped for pace. Luckily the middle section of the run went much better with the finish my usual gasping painful misery compounded by the brutal hill finish. However going back to my pre-race goals

- I did manage to finish, and although very stiff and sore I don't think the hamstring i further damaged.
- I did manage to finish in the top 1000. In fact almost unbelievably I finished in 160th place! and 20th in my age group (younger old men!)
- I also made it within a minute of my first 10k race time, but this time 46 seconds faster 41.16.

Definately well chuffed - half marathon next!

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