After last Sunday’s 10K, (a muddy, hilly off road race with some organisational hiccups) I ran another 10K race this Sunday. This one was flat, fast and organised like a clock winding event in a Swiss cuckcoo clock factory. Last week was the Bath Skyline 10K, this week was the Chilly 10K at Castle Combe race circuit, organised by DB Max.
Last week I was excited and nervous at the start, just running to finish with no thoughts of what time to expect. This week I was quite anxious at the start, because I was putting pressure on myself to aim for sub-54 minutes. My PB from last year was 54:02.
Castle Combe Race Circuit is an exposed location, just outside the beautiful Cotswold village of Castle Combe. The circuit isn’t quite as picturesque as the village. It’s also very open and seems to always have a head wind – the only question is from which direction will it be? As a motor racing circuit it’s great if you have an interest in motor sport (there’s a pit lane, chicanes, banks of tyres in case of crashes etc) but this also means it has great facilities – lots of parking, toilets, and the ‘Tavern’ for a greasy spoon fry-up afterwards. The organisation was immaculate, speedy number and chip pick-up followed by a warm area to wait in.
I always find laps in a race hard to cope with mentally, and this race was three and a bit laps of the circuit. This meant on the first lap passing the 2K marker then a few metres later the 5K marker, and then in a few more breaths the 8K. I found it soul destroying on the first lap, was on the verge of giving up on the second lap, but was still hanging on by my fingernails on the third and final lap.
I didn’t quite bag myself a new PB, and missed out on my sub 54 minute target by 12 seconds. However despite the finish line video showing me crossing the line and looking with disgust at my Garmin as I see my time, I was pleased with my race. I haven’t been doing any speed work lately (concentrating on hills and mud instead), so to come so close to my target time is great. Oh and I got another amazing medal (always a bonus!)
So two very different races. Very different surroundings, terrain and organisation, however I was very happy to have run both of them. Roll on the Bath Skyline number 2 in a few weeks, and the next Chilly 10K in a few months!