Having ran several full and half-marathons in the past few months, I thought I’d take it easy this weekend by only running a 10 Mile race here’s my account…
Parking outside Keswick School, race HQ for the day, you couldn’t help but be inspired by the beautiful scenery that surrounded you. With clear blue skies, snow peaked hilltops and trees adorned with lush golden brown leaves in every direction, one thing was for sure, even if the race didn’t live up to expectation, the landscape would more than compensate.
Following a vigorous warm-up it was time for Claire Rowley, Phillippa (Pip) Nichol and I to make our way to the race start in the town’s market square.
At this point, I have to bring up the fact that Claire and Pip both took part in an 11 miles endurance race the previous day, which, thanks to various hold-ups during the event, took them almost 3 hours to complete. So just to be standing on the start-line of a 10 miles race shows their dedication and passion for racing, not to mention a little madness
After wishing good luck to fellow club members Steve Cairns and Matty Tomlinson, it was time for the off, and almost immediately the route started it’s ascent out of town. The pre-race information pack had described the course as undulating but I would’ve thought (or rather hoped) there’d be at least a flat mile or so to acclimatise to racing but not a chance of it.
For the first five miles the route followed the main road around the east side of Derwent Water, before crossing a bridge and turning back towards Keswick on the other side of the lake. It was at this point of the race the route ceased being undulating and just became one long ascent!!!
Thankfully, not only were there were pockets of spectators dotted along this section geeing up the runners, there were also a couple of vantage points where runners could pause momentarily* and take in the magnificent views across the lake. (*by momentarily I mean until feeling has returned to your legs )
Once at the summit, there was then a steep descent down a narrow, twisty road, which was just the tonic after an arduous climb. But as soon as you got up speed, whoa!!!, a whopping great cattle-grid appeared from no-where. There was a split second to make a decision, plough on regardless and pray you didn’t break an ankle whilst running over the grid, or slow down and take the safe option of using the path at the side of the grid. I used my common sense (i.e. bottled it) and took the path.
The last few miles consisted of a few minor undulations but nothing serious, and before I knew it, I was crossing the finishing line and having a cup of water. And as the water was the only thing on offer to the finishers (no t-shirt, no medal, nowt) I thought I’d fill my boots and get a second cup too. With the race being electronically chipped, there was a small reward in that competitors could obtain a print-out of their time almost immediately as they crossed the line, which I suppose I could frame and hang-up somewhere.
The lads, Steve and Matty, had fantastic runs, with Steve claiming 1st prize in the V45 category and Matty finishing 2nd in the V40 category. Both ran under 60 minutes on a difficult course (times to be confirmed). Congratulations lads.
As for the lasses, what can I say, except amazing. They were never going to be flying around the course after a strenuous race the day before, but for both to finish under 90 minutes is a fantastic achievement. You’ve also got to bear in mind that Claire only took up running a few months ago, whilst Pip is still fairly new to running and has been besieged by injuries of late, so a huge well done to both of them.
Everybody agreed what a fantastic day it had been, with the race turning out to be just as enjoyable as the local surroundings, and definitely one to do again.
Steve Cairns: 56:15 (1st V45, 5th overall)
Matty Tomlinson: 59:13 (2nd v40, 8th overall)
David Daniels: 1:01:54
Pip Nichol: 1:24:34
Claire Rowley: 1:26:22
The race was won by Yared Hagos (Wallsend) in a time of 49:54.
Full results can be found here