Sunday, 20 November 2011

Old Deer Park 10k - Birthday Race Report

It's my birthday and I'll run if I want to. That was my philosophy when I booked this race. Described as flat and fast, I wanted a PB for my birthday. As I've mentioned before, I've never gone into a race aiming for a PB so this had potential to fail big time. However, I'm please to say, I didn't. Fail that is...

Getting the family up early for a drive to Kew on a Sunday morning, I knew it was meant to be chilly although I didn't expect this at 7:30am this morning. Would we even find Kew???

I'm glad to say we did, so parked up and wrapped up, off into the cold we went. We followed the mass of runners heading to the start area and I picked up my timing chip and tried to stay warm.

I'd heard a lot of negative reviews about the organisation of this race in events gone by but I have to say, it was fantastically done this time. The only exception to this was apart from your number and a couple of advertising leaflets, we got nothing through the post so working out what to do on the day was more guesswork than anything but considering all I had to do was pick up a timing chip, it wasn't exactly difficult.

With 5 minutes to go, I headed to the start and left Mrs HMC and The Boy to wander the park. The organisers started calling people forward by expected finishing time and knowing I wanted to go sub 49, I headed to the front of the sub 50 group.

Visibility had slightly improved at the start but those KM markers were destined to come from nowhere during the race.

The first 3 km are along the roads which were very well marshaled before hitting the Thames towpath for the rest of the race. Well at least I think it was the Thames. There was only about a metre of it visible but it was certainly cold and wet looking so I guess it must have been.

A couple of quick early kilometres got time in the bank and by the 4th KM, I knew I could run the rest at 5 minute KM and PB which was a nice thing to know. I then eased off to around that pace for the next few until 7km and then decided it was time to see if I could push on further.

At around 7.5km, you reach the part of the course where the quick runners are coming back towards you  before they veer off to the finish but this is also the point where the supporters are, cameras in hand.

This was the only bit I found tough, running towards people who had already done the bit I needed to do but head down (well it's not exactly like there was a view) I plodded on while attempting to keep my footing on the cobbles. The wet and VERY slippery cobbles. Luckily there were only around 100m of them and then at 8.5km, it was time to turn for home. 

As usual for me at this point, it was keep running at the same pace, clock your 9km time then see what you can do to get you to the finish. A 4:35km was the answer giving me a finishing time of 47:53 and soggy feet from the grass.

After the medal, water, banana and Ribena, I found Mrs HMC and The Boy and we headed out to get some brunch in an old toilet. I'm not being nasty here, Arthurs on the Green is a converted toilet who served me a great cooked breakfast with loads of coffee and fresh orange juice. Just what a PB cracking birthday boy deserved!