Vikki Waugh completed her very first 10K Road Race today in the North Tyneside 10K, and has sent this brilliant report.
My First 10K
Since joining TBH last May, I am often mistaken for being older than I am. This meant that for every race on the calendar, I was frequently asked if I was taking part, but with the age limit usually being 16 and over, I wasn’t allowed to participate. So when my mam (Denise Waugh) informed me of the North Tyneside 10K, my immediate reaction was that I would not be old enough. However the age limit on this race was 15 and I jumped at the opportunity to run and wear my TBH vest.
As the morning of the 10K approached, the butterflies began to flutter in my stomach and although I had several training runs under my belt, I was starting to doubt whether I would be able to reach my target of under 55 minutes. However with my mam’s nagging, I mean tactics, I began to feel more confident.
This was it, Tyne Bridge were out in force and the sea of black and white vests covered the 2000 plus runners at the starting line. The crowd of runners was a new experience for me and although it was slightly claustrophobic, the atmosphere was incredible. As the countdown started to mark the beginning of the race, all the anxiety went and I told myself I was going to enjoy this regardless of how well I ran.
Even though I had been warned numerous times to not start off too fast, I did, and ended up exhausted before reaching the first hill! As I approached the first hill I thought of Kenny Mac‘s wise words “Keep your head down and drive the arms and legs. Don’t try and beat the hill, just carry on running.” These helped as I found myself over taking several people on the inclines and with the fantastic support of Jimmy Turnbull and Ron Murray I managed to reach the top.
Normally around the 3 mile mark people would be feeling rough, however Vanessa Lawrence maintained a quick pace and continued to draw out a big gap between us. My body began to tire from the quick start and the hills but I kept thinking to myself ‘it’s one more Parkrun to the finish, you can do it’. Unfortunately around the 4 mile mark, my left calf, which I’ve had previous injuries with, went and I knew the last 2 and a quarter miles were going to be tough.
The minutes began to drag and the further I ran, the worse I felt. Reaching the 5 mile mark meant the finish was in sight, and although the lighthouse can be seen from miles back, it was beginning to seem closer. The great encouragement from Dave Anderson, Jane Lowes and Penny Whitmore and trying to avoid sneaky photography from Rob Kirtley both helped me push myself onto the home straight! As I looked at my watch, I knew it was possible for me to achieve my target of under 55 minutes if I pushed the last 200 metres. I ran my legs out to the finish line and as I looked at my watch, whilst stumbling dizzily around the finish, I was elated to discover I had ran 54.40; this meant I had reached my target and set myself a good PB.
After the race it was astounding to see the amount of Tyne Bridge who had both ran or supported the race. This and the large quantity of PB’s from the runners highlighted to other clubs the true talent and welcoming ethos of Tyne Bridge.
The next 10K I do, I am hoping to get under 54 minutes and with the experience now under my belt, I believe it could be very achievable! Well done to all who ran and supported today, it makes me proud to be a Tyne Bridge Harrier!