It was fantastic. An absolute blast, folks cheering us on as we went through the centre of Newbury, out into the countryside, and back near the Kennet and Avon canal. For most of the run, I was 50 metres ahead of a fully-costumed Batman. Perhaps that was why I always seemed to get a great cheer.
This was my first organised 10km run (having only done the Chieveley Chase 5.8mile run before). Made sure that I was up early for light breakfast of porridge, and plenty of water the evening before and on the morning. Arrived in Newbury 9.30am to collect my race number (I had only registered last weekend after Newbury Athletics Club appealed for more runners at parkrun). Race number collected and pinned on, Mrs MarkyD and I had a few minutes to wait near the start. Only needed the loo twice, and being a local I knew where the 'not too busy' toilets were to be found. Whilst warming up I met my friend Robin, where we had our photo taken with a man in a Nandos Chicken costume.
There were about 750 runners, with marked start pens for the various finish times. I made it to the 60 minute pen, but seemed to be at the back of it (60 minutes seems to be a popular target time for a 10km run). Anyway, the start was a bit slow, with plenty of running teams setting off 8 abreast. I only really got going at my pace when we got to the first short hill.
It was a great day for running - not too hot 14 degrees - with plenty of cloud cover. During the run there were a few drops of rain, but it did not come to much. So I got round the course in 58:37. It is OK if I am not very happy with that? I'd told everyone that I wanted to finish in sub 1 hour but I think that I should have been faster. Whilst running I was thinking 'you just have to finish the run' but I suppose that's my inexperience of running 10km. The more times I run 10km, I'll become more confident that I can really run 10km. So for my next 10km run I'm going to put a bit more effort in. I know that I had it in me, as I crossed the line with a 4 minute/km pace down the final straight Photo of me is at 7km in the centre of Newbury, before doing a big loop out of town and back to the finish. At this point, I am about 100 metres from the finish line and it seems really cruel to make us take the big loop.
'Official' 10km runs? I loved it, and will be signing up for my next run later tonight. Newbury Athletics Club host a 10km run at Highclere (the setting for Downton Abbey) so I'll definitely be doing that. It's not til September, so will want to find somewhere else to run before that.
Hope that everyone has had a great Bank Holiday running weekend (sorry those of you outside UK). Enjoy your running and try to keep off the Injury Couch.