I ran the Sneyd 10 Mile Pudding Run for the first-time last year. It was not only my first time partaking in the event, but also my first attempt at the 10 mile distance. Usually I stick with the more common distances of 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon. I entered it last year as more of a training run to see what level I was at as I was aiming for a sub-2:30 half marathon in January (a month later).
This year I entered the Sneyd 10 Mile as it was part of my running club Grand Prix, but also as a benchmark. When I ran it last year I was arguably in the best shape of my life as I prepared for my sub-2:30 half marathon (ended up with a time of 2:11!) and for the Blackpool Marathon. Fast forward a year and I’m not in the same shape! 2019 started well, both training and racing wise, however with wedding planning and a few other things going on, my training soon took a back seat. Since October, I have been trying to get back into a routine and have returned to my running club, but I know that I’m still a long way away from where I was at this point last year.
With this in mind, I would have been happy with a finishing time of around 1:48 (what I achieved last year). The competitive side of me always wants to beat my times, and it was a Grand Prix race so I wanted to do well, but I also knew that my fitness wasn’t where it should be.
Before I set off, I had checked my splits from last year’s Sneyd 10 Mile. I had started off slower and then picked up the pace, with the final mile being the fastest. It can be tough standing on the start line, or at least, it is for me. I have a mental battle between being smart and then just wanting to run fast. As the klaxon sounded, I made the decision to run the first mile or two without looking at my watch. I would just run by feel and try to stay comfortable. Surrounded by people I do tend to get a bit carried away, but usually I start to feel it after half a mile. I felt good and my watch showed a score of +7 for my performance condition, which is always a nice boost!
As I reached the first mile marker my watch notified me that I had completed it in 9:42 – much faster than my first mile the year before (11:05). With the earlier reassurance from my watch in the form of the +7 performance condition notification, I decided to push on without checking my pace. Mile 2 slowed slightly but it was still quicker than last year’s attempt in a time of 10:02. There was a water station just before the third mile point, but I opted to run through without taking any. Mile 3 came in at 10:22 and I was getting a bit nervy about whether I would be able to keep my pace at 10:30 minute per mile or faster for the rest of the distance. I took on my first energy gel at the 4 mile marker. Miles 4 and 5 were back and forth with times of 10:02 and then 10:27. Just before the 5 mile marker a lady ran alongside me and gave some encouragement of “not far to go now” … I laughed and advised that I was taking part in the 10 mile rather than the 5!
I crossed the halfway point and actually felt quite good. I knew that I was well within the average pace that I needed for a personal best and that I just had to push on. It was at this point that the rain started. Luckily it was only a light drizzle and soon stopped, which I was grateful for as running in the rain as a glasses wearer is never fun! Mile 6 saw me pick up the pace with a time of 10:04 – the rain probably helped as I wanted to get to the finish!
The second and final water station appeared just before the 8 mile marker, so I slowed to take a few sips of water. Miles 7 and 8 were slower with times of 10:28 and 10:36. I was starting to struggle at this point. Having pushed harder than planned early on I was starting to feel the effects! I kept telling myself that the hard work had been done, and even if the last few miles were 12 minutes each then I should still scrape an event personal best.
Mile 9 was slightly faster with a time of 10:26, and it was then that I knew I was set for a course personal best. Even if I walked the remaining mile, I would still sneak an improvement on last years’ time. Luckily, I didn’t have to walk the last mile as I pushed through with a run / walk effort and a time of 10:08.
The sprint finish was really tough! My legs felt heavy and I just didn’t have much left in the tank. There were two women in front of me and I managed to overtake the one, but my legs didn’t have the power to chase the second.
I picked up my medal and walked to the sports hall to collect my goodie bag and t-shirt. There were also banana’s and water given to all finisher’s, but I rummaged through my bag to try and find something with chocolate! To my relief, I found a Penguin bar, which lasted less than 30 seconds!
I watched the medal presentations, where a few of my club members picked up awards, and then headed back out to meet Chris. All in all, I exceeded expectations as my final time was 1:42:17, which is a 6 minute 24 second improvement over last years’ time.
Full race results can be found here.
Last years’ review of the Sneyd 10 Mile event can be found here. The one downside for me this year around was the fact that the medal design was the same, just with added sponsor names on the ribbon.
Splits and Official Time: