A little over 12 months later and I’m once again running in the Spen Greenway 10k road race held once again at the Princess Mary Athletics Stadium and hosted by the Spenborough & Distric Athletics Club.
After the disappointment of finishing 2 minutes outside of my target time in the Paras’10 P Coy Challenge I was determined to meet today’s sub 40 minute goal. It was a clear and fresh day and as I warmed up on the nearby athletics track I felt confident. Still a little tight in the ankle I sprained a number of weeks back doing the Ripon Spartan Sprint but fitter and more motivated after suffering so much physical and mental pain at the P Coy Challenge.
The start of the race was a bit of a crowded affair with being run on a public greenway and for the first 500-1000 metres it was a struggle to make any decent headway but I found my stride and was comfortable. As the race progressed I continued to check my time and current heart rate. The goal was not to race people but the clock. The sub 40 minute time was the order of the day and nothing else so I became extremely ticked off when at around 3km I was continually blocked by two individuals who would not let me pass even though they were having to increase their own pace quite considerably. When I eventually did manage to pass these people I was rewarded with a couple of kicks to the soles of my trainers. Accident? Deliberate? At the time I was convinced it was deliberate and very tempted to turn around and give them a piece of my mind.
At the turn around point at 5km I was still on target with a time of just over 19 minutes but I was starting to feel the effort I’d already put in and knew I would have to hang on and grind out the next 5km sticking to the race plan. No getting phased by anyone who passed me. As things turned out I wasn’t aware of anyone passing me till the 8km mark and by that point I was too far into my own little cave with the ever present chimp chattering away urging me on. It was around this point that the pain was starting to set in physically and a little mentally. The mental side was more of the battle between pushing too hard too soon and not pushing enough. Both possibly leading to not getting sub 40 minutes. Oh and the now present feeling of an acid feeling rising from my stomach and wanting to hurl my guts because of the large amounts of lactic acid I could feel coursing through my body.
It would all soon be over as I spotted the bridge near the finish line. One more surge and we we crossed the finishing line. A quick click and glance of the stop watch and it showed 39.28 minutes. I’d done it, finally after 3 years of road racing and coming down from a time of just over 46 minutes in my first ever 10k race. Overall I would finish in 23Rd place a considerable improvement on last years race.
Overall thoughts of the race are that its well run. Not overly priced like you find with some of the city runs which can charge upwards of £26+ compared to the £10 I paid for today’s race. Its an ideal race for beginners or those looking to get in a new personal best, coming back from injury or are trying out race tactics simply because its a nice and flat out and back course. And most importantly of all your supporting a local athletics club.
Don’t forget to load up on all your pre race caffeine products at Candy Hero and use our reusable 5% discount code SPARTAN-F3HA at the checkout.
Steven A Barlow, Co founder www.spartan-warriors.co.uk and founder of Spartan Runners “because we don’t just run” © 2012