It's hard to think that I'm now through the first seven months of my 1000km challenge, the time has flown by. This week however I decided to take it easy with just the one race. Saturday's race would mark my 27th of the year so far (in just 30 weeks) as I competed at the Heckington Show, the largest Village Show in England, in it's 147th year.
After a slight bit of confusion over where to park I arrived just in time to go to the toilet before joining the rest of the competitors outside the main arena. The setting for the race felt a little strange, I never thought I would be classed as an attraction at a Village Show, an attraction in a travelling circus maybe. The race began with two laps around the inside of the arena, which again felt slightly odd, before then leaving to run through Heckington, and nearby villages.
Throughout the race I was a little unsure as to how to pace myself, the 10 miler is not a distance I am overly familiar with, having only ran that distance once before. With potentially three Marathons in the next 12 weeks I'm approaching many races cautiously so as to avoid any frustrating injuries. In the end I went with the 'see what happens' approach and ended up gauging my pace based on my instincts and the impressions of those around me.
The course was a fairly simple, flat affair with a 4 mile section you would run round twice before heading back to the arena. In recent weeks I've had a bit of 'writers block' when it comes to talking about the races, nothing against the races themselves, but some courses are certainly a lot more easier to describe and dare I say it, 'exciting', than others. Unfortunately, with running through mostly empty country roads, this was a case of the former.
One significant event to come from this race was the winning a secret, personal battle of mine against another runner. There is a club runner who I have seen at at least 15 of my 27 races so far this year who always seems that little bit out of reach. At times I have effectively used him as a pacer and always try to keep him in sight, but no matter how hard I try I never managed to catch him. Things got a little personal at a race earlier in the year as he overtook me in the last 50 or so metres. On Saturday however, the familiar sight of the back of his head came in to view and, after an initial bout of excitement, I made my move and overtook him. The next two miles were then spent desperately hoping that he wouldn't then come storming past me again and as I crossed the line a quick look behind revealed he was no where to be seen.
This little battle would have been completely unbeknownst to him of course, if only for the fact that he's always in front of me. But after 7 long months of seeing the over familiar sight of the back of his head at seemingly every race it's now 14 - 1.
I have since checked my time against the Notts 10 Mile Road Race and found that I actually was a little bit faster this time. This comes as quite a shock as I felt I was running at a much more relaxed pace, although I guess a significantly cooler day and not stopping half way round to throw up probably helped.
After the race I went for a little wander around the Show to see what it had on offer. As a competitor I was granted free entry to the show, so I thought whilst I was there I may as well make the most of it and recorded a, mostly sideways, video.
So that's me done for July, I will be following this post up with a monthly review post shortly along with another Video. In the mean time my charity raffle is still running so please head over to http://runshanerun.co.uk/raffle to find out more and to buy a ticket.As always, please visit http://www.justgiving.com/shanes1000km and donate what you can and please share news of what I am doing with others.
Distance: 16.09km | 10.00 miles
Official Time: T:B:A
Average Pace: 04:37 min/km | 7:25 min/mi
Goody Bag: T-shirt and Medal