Bolsover 10K Race Report

I really find it difficult to comprehend how fast this year has gone by. It barely seems a couple of months since I last ran the Bolsover 10K.

Amazingly enough, for the third year in a row, the weather was great for the race. After some overnight rain, there was a chilly start in glorious winter sunshine. Although the temperature was only around 5°C (40°F), it would have been okay to run in shorts and T-shirt, but I opted for a long sleeve thermal top and shorts instead. Next time, I think I'll go with the T-shirt as I got a little too warm in the latter stages of the race.

The race was over the same course as the previous two years, and after a bit of a squash on the start line we were underway pretty much on time.

Having done very little speed training over the summer, I wasn't expecting great things from the race, but I set off at my normal 10K pace with the idea that I'd try to bag as many seconds as I could in the early part of the race, knowing I'd be slower later. And so it worked!

I felt pretty good for the first 7K, but then began to tire a bit. It's a gentle uphill pretty much all the way from the 7km mark to the finish, and whilst I'm reasonably good on hills, my lack of speedwork was the telling problem as we plugged our way toward the finish. The last Km was the worst for me - it's flattish for the first 500m, then uphill for the remainder of the race into Bolsover School. That's been the real killer for me every year so far, and my club colleagues also said the same this year. A guy caught me up at the 9Km mark and I thought he'd be off as we neared the finish, but I managed to keep with him up to the last 250m when my legs finally decided that they were at their speed limit as far as propelling me forwards was concerned. He finished 6 seconds ahead of me in the end, but due to the beauty of chip timing, had the same personal time as me.

The difference in this race for me this year was that I actually enjoyed it (well, apart from the last 500m). I felt good most of the way round, and the lovely morning made it all the better. In previous years, despite the weather being good, I've felt so knackered part way round that I just lost all of the enjoyment. I set a new personal best for the course of 41:20 - taking a whopping 10 seconds off last year's time. I was pleased with that, although judging by the number of people in front of me, if I'd been as fast, comparatively, as last year, I would have taken more than 10s off the time. Still, I'm not grumbling and it has got me remotivated again to try to beat 40 minutes in a 10K in 2007.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the race organisers and marshalls, all of whom did a wonderful job! I liked the stop-watch memento (although I must confess to preferring the usual t-shirt).

For a change, this probably won't be my last race of the year as my club is organising a cross-country race in a local park on December 30th. I haven't run a proper cross-country race since I was in school (all of 30 years ago), which I remember disliking a lot. However, I have done a fair amount of off-road running over the summer and autumn, so this will be a bit of post-Christmas fun to finish off the year. I haven't started planning next year's runs yet, but I will over the Christmas break.

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