Thursday, 27 June 2013

Heathfield Midsummer 10K Race Report

This year I haven't really been running as many races as I had planned. This has been partly down to being busy and doing family stuff most weekends, and partly due to focusing on the marathon and then recovering from it.

So last week on a whim, I decided to enter a local 10K. The last day for online entry was Thursday and I did it at about 5pm that evening . I had been procrastinating about it for a while...

Having entered, I spent a concerned few days looking at some fairly rubbish weather forecasts of rain and wind, but on Sunday morning, it was actually quite warm and sunny, and most importantly, dry. We'd been to a friend's party the night before and it had been a late night for the kids, so I left them and Pete at home recovering, and drove myself to the race.

Arrived at the start
In my sleepy, confused state, I forgot to take any money, and when I started driving, I realised that there wasn't much petrol in the car. It should have been enough, but as I got to the location, I got a bit lost and drove a few miles the wrong way. Luckily I found it soon, but it was a slightly stressful start!

This was a small race, but a local Grand Prix race, which means that the local running clubs send teams of top runners to compete and win points in their leagues, so there were a lot of fast runners there. There were some fun-runners too, but it was quite a fast field overall. I picked up my number, and it was soon time to line up for the start.

Preparing to start
The course was advertised as being 'undulating for the first half and uphill for the second' - uh-oh! It was run on quiet country roads, with just the occasional passing car to worry about. Most of the route was under a canopy of trees, and I thought that if it had been raining we would have got really cold, but as it was, the conditions were perfect for running.

The course proved to be as advertised - we started with a long downhill, then an uphill, then a downhill... and so on. I picked up speed on all the down stretches, and ran the first 5K in about 25m30s, which was faster than a lot of my recent 5K runs. I knew that the second half would make up for this though. Throughout the race I kept picking off runners, and no-one really overtook me after the first 2Ks or so. Just after the 7K mark, the long uphill started. It was just a slow, steady, 3K climb to the end.
Course profile - yuck!
It wasn't too steep for most of it, but it was relentless, and a bit of a slog at the end. The very last part of the race turned into a field (the local rugby club), and there was about 200m to run around the field to the finish. As each athlete entered the field, their name was announced on a loudspeaker, which was a nice touch.

I tried to sprint as hard as I could to the finish line. At the end there was a bottle of water and a medal - no frills! I sat on the grass for a bit and watched a few runners come in before leaving.

I really enjoyed the race. The next day the results were online, and I finished 147 of 212 runners, in a time of 54m24s. I was 31 out of 73 women and 6 of 14 in my age group. I was quite happy with my time on a hilly course and up against some good runners.

I did feel quite tired afterwards though, and after blogging in my previous post about a busy weekend, I've been feeling unwell this week. I called in sick to work on Tuesday and stayed in bed all morning. I think it's a virus as I haven't got a cold, but have been achey, weak and dizzy and my temperature has been up and down like crazy.

I'm feeling much better today though, but perhaps it's a lesson not to overdo it at the weekends!


  1. Hey Liz,
    Here too the rain is not stopping! I am glad the weather was good on race day! You had a good race despite the fatigue and the little training and also the stress before the start!!
    Any other plans for the end of the year?

  2. Great run, well done! That's a good time as well. Take it easy and feel better!

  3. That's a great run - especially after a late night and knowing it was hilly. I think if I'd read that it was hilly I just wouldn't have entered. I love hills that much!

  4. A medal is some frills! Good job with a tough field of runners.