Another weekend, another race! And how different today was from last weekend’s wet and windy 10k!
This morning I ran the Great Baddow Races 10 mile- I chose this race as a final long run before my half-marathon next weekend, plus it is fairly local being a 30 minute drive away. I haven’t ran a 10 mile race before- it seemed like the perfect distance- not too short, not too long!
The race started at a recreation ground- there was plenty of parking, lots of toilets and a bag drop (which we didn’t use). While we waited, we slathered ourselves in sun-cream as this race was set to be a hot one.
A wheelchair athlete was taking part in the race, so he was set off about 5 minutes before the rest of the runners- we cheered him on as he speed off- it was amazing the power in his arms moving the wheelchair along at such a speed!
We were set off on time and the first part of the course was a loop of the playing field before heading out onto the streets, I dropped my gel on the floor after only 200 metres, so I had to go back to pick that up!
Now this course was a hilly one- the first 4 miles was a constant uphill through residential streets. Just when I thought the road would level out, it carried on climbing and climbing… A man running alongside me assured me it would all be downhill after the 4 mile marker and thankfully it was!
There was plenty of support out on the course as most of the route was through residential streets- I saw kids handing out jelly babies and families sitting in their front gardens cheering us along. Some people were spraying down the runners with their garden hoses- it was amazing to run through cool refreshing water!
A 2 mile Fun Run for children was set off around 15 minutes after the 10 mile race. Lots of runners were dressed up- I saw a Super Mario and Luigi, a Despicable Me minion and a bear.
The heat was really affecting me, there was no shade and the sun felt so strong on my back. I was glad Glen had lent me a cap to wear otherwise my head would have burnt! I was so thankful when we ran under trees for a bit of shade, but generally the course was very open.
Around mile 5, marshalls were handing out sponges soaked in ice-cold water- this was seriously the best thing ever! It felt amazing on my hot skin, and I carried the sponge with me for the rest of the race mopping myself down my face, neck and back.
The last 4 miles of the route were undulating, with lots of uphills and downhills. I had to walk at several points as I was struggling so much. Around mile 8, every runner around me was walking, so I didn’t feel guilty about slowing down, as the combination of heat and hills seemed to be getting to a lot of people. I aimed to stay between a 9min/mile and 10 min/mile, but as the race went on I got slower and slower.
I took my gel at mile 7, it was a new brand I’ve not tried before- I’m not generally a fan of gels and this one was absolutely disgusting! I tossed it away after a mouthful, and used my beloved sponge to wipe my sticky hands and face!
I finished the race in 1:40:21, according to my Tom Tom- I’m still awaiting the official time. I’m a little disappointed with my time, as I hoped to be closer to 1:30, but I tried my best given the conditions today.
Glen finished in an amazing 1:12:32- he too struggled in the heat, but ran the entire 10 miles without walking. He met me at the finish line and got a few photos of my attempt at a sprint finish!
There were unfortunately no medals for the 10 mile race (although the 2 mile fun runners did receive a medal). We were given a commemorative mug, as 2014 is the 30th anniversary of the Great Baddow Races. I would have preferred a medal, but I’m not fussed as I enjoyed the race regardless.
Hopefully next weekend is cooler for my half-marathon, as I’m not sure I could manage another 3.1 miles of blazing sunshine!