When I entered this event, I was hoping that my next 10k race would see me in the 1:20 finishing time region; little did I know what this 10k entailed (event review available here). The course is multi-terrain, with a mixture of pavement, rocky paths and grass, but there are sections of the route which are quite steep. As if having to deal with steep inclines and multi-terrain paths wasn’t bad enough, I have been suffering with chest problems and a cough for the last 3 weeks (hoping to see a doctor this week).
There were two small mercies for this event; it was local, and it started at 10:30. I arrived at 9:45 to allow time for parking, toilet trips and warming up. The race started at 10:30 promptly, and all of the runners set out in a steady stream. I just about made it to the 1km marking in 7:01 before needing a walk break. My chest was feeling tight, I could feel my lungs deflating but then it felt as if someone was sitting on my chest and I was struggling to catch my breath.
My following kilometres slowed as I took slightly longer walk breaks between runs. After completing the 7th kilometre (at the slowest average pace of 7:39), I realized that I was still on target to reach my time goal, but I couldn’t afford another dip in my average pace. I picked up my average pace to 8:36 for the 8th kilometre, but this was also the steepest and hardest kilometre of the route. My final kilometre was quicker than my 6th kilometre at 8:11, but it was a real struggle as I wanted to make sure I had enough left in the tank to run the final section and across the finish line.
I finished the event in 1:20:27 (official race time), but my Garmin measured the route at 9.99km so I had to run a little further after collecting my medal and hit the 10km mark on my watch at 1:20:41. Both results put me in the 1:20 range and are better than my pre-event personal best, so I’m happy with that, especially given the fact that I wasn’t at my best and it was a difficult route. Additionally, I also improved on my best mile, from 12:13 to 11:32, and best 5k, from 39:07 to 38:29. My next 10k event is on April 30th, so I am hoping that my chest will have cleared up by then, and I can focus on trying to finish in under 1:20.
For full race results, please click here.