This was my first experience of the Run to the Beat series of races, and left me with mixed feelings. Previously, this event was a half marathon in Greenwich Park, but has now shifted to Wembley in the form of a 10km road race.
I did not receive my race pack, which was disappointing and I had to arrive early to collect it on race day. It was actually not even posted to me, and I was “missed out by the system”, according to the organisers. Not a great start. The event is showcased as being outside Wembley stadium, and that is exactly what it is. Just outside the stadium, with the race village in a big car park. Hmmmm.
I put sub-40 as my finish time (my previous PB for a 10k being 41:30), so was expecting to run around this time, or if I could push myself and get a clear run, would have been happy with anything around 40-41 minutes. I was in the “pink” wave, and started pretty close to the start line.
We began promptly just after 9:25 hrs, as scheduled. I took off after crossing the start line and was feeling pretty good, with only a handful of runners ahead of me. The run felt solid throughout, and I kept to my race plan of maintaining my speed at an average of 15km/h throughout (using a Nike+ GPS watch). This would set me up for a sub-40 10k.
At around the 6km mark, I saw a sub-40 pacer (surrounded by 3 or 4 other runners) pass me on a hill. I was not planning to play catch-up at this point, and let the group pass me, keeping an eye out for them and not letting them out of my sight! At just after 8km, I managed to catch up to the sub-40 pacer and asked him if he was on track for a sub-40 10k. He said “about 20 seconds out”. I felt good and pushed past him, picking up my pace for the final 1km.
I overtook a few more runners during the final km, as I knew the finish line couldn’t be far. We were led through a rather unpleasant industrial backroad-like area (not very scenic) before entering the car park where the race village was. There was the finish line! I went all out, with a sprint to the finish. I stopped my Nike+ watch and was greeted by two new PBs!! 5km in 19:08 and 10km in 38:51. My watch was actually showing I ran 10.15km, with my official chip time being 39:11. It doesn’t matter much to me. I wanted to break a sub-40 10km run, and was very pleased to have done so very comfortably!
From here, I will now begin to shift my focus on the half-marathon for the remainder of 2014. I have 4 half marathons now within the next 5 weeks; Richmond Half on 21st September, Ealing Half on 28th September, Oxford Half on 12th October and the Great Birmingham Run on 18th October. My goal will be to break a sub-1:30 half at any of these events. After today’s 10k performance, feel that this should not be an issue. EDIT: Done this on the very next week!!! half marathon at Richmond Park!!