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The best kind of race: peer pressured and last minute.

“Drewbies, fancy a 10K tomorrow?” And, me being me, I couldn’t really say no.

Venue: Splashpoint Leisure Centre, Worthing. This, surprisingly, has a swimming pool. It was easy enough to get to: my entourage (Bez) and I had a 20 minute wander through Worthing town centre to the start, only getting lost once. We started and finished right on the seafront and it was windy.

Organisation: Super awesome – no queue for the two toilets (in the nearby café), no queue for the bag drop (in the nearby café) and no queue to register (outside the nearby café). Flawless. The race started bang on 11am, and they even provided safety pins in a pot.

The race: There is nothing that race organisers can do about the weather, but I really wish they could! It was proper blowy… although it didn’t rain, so that got a thumbs up. The route was straight along with seafront, a turnabout in the park and then back again, when the wind was a great help. The prom wasn’t closed, and there were a couple’a pairs of grumps that didn’t get outta the way as we approached, but that can’t be helped. Kev said he overheard some of them moaning about how silly it was to have a race at 11am on a Sunday. No, not silly. It simply means we don’t have to get up super early to run. So there.
It was nicely marshalled, with some really ace volunteers at the one drinks station at 3km and back again at 7km. There wasn’t a huge amount of support en route: mostly just bemused people staring as us crazy people in short shorts pegging it past them.

My race: I have never actually run a 10k race before – I’ve run 10k plenty of times, but never as a standalone run. I can run a parkrun in a smidge over 22 minutes, so I was hoping I’d be able to go under 45 minutes in 10k, although knew that as I’d not run further than 5 miles in months not to be unrealistic and accept that anything under 50 minutes was good going.
I found the first 5km pretty tough – as I said, it was really, really windy. I tried not to look at my Garmin for the first mile, and just to run fast, but comfortably.
At the turnaround point, as the other runners went past I realised that there was only one woman ahead of me… and decided to dig in, work with the wind and speed up. I was never going to catch her, but I was definitely going to hold on to second (and hope that she was going to trip up). Having the wind behind me was fab, and the last 3km felt hard, but comfortable. I even nearly caught up with my mate Howard, which was kinda cool. As I crossed the line, and stopped my watch 30 seconds under the 45 minute barrier, the shouty starting man shouted out that I was 2nd lady! 2nd! Sweet! It was fun to be handed a gold cup and be able to gloat a bit as the boys won nothing and ran faster. It’s good to be a girl som’a the time! I did make a bit of a fool of myself (of course) when the guy asked what club I ran for (I don’t) and I just went “I come from Brighton”. Muppet.

So from now on, I am only going to run races in small places, with under 350 competitors, on the flat and at the very last minute*.

All in all, a fun runday Sunday. Kev cruised in under 40 minutes, and Howard only just beat a girl.

*Oh yeah. My next races are the rather large Brighton Half Marathon and the even larger London Marathon. Dammit.

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2 thoughts on “The best kind of race: peer pressured and last minute.

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