Tonight it was the Great Chalfield 10K. It was very hot, my legs were still tired from Tuesday’s race, and I was still haunted by the awful stitch I had last year on this race. However it was beautifully sunny, the race route is beautiful (if a little lumpy), I was smothered in suncream and was wearing my attractive running cap. Race time!
As I arrived at the scout hut in Broughton Gifford, I could see small groups of Harriers shirts. Yet again, I recognised just a few of them – this is such a big running club I keep coming across completely different people! However they made me feel very welcome, and it was good to stand and chat in the sunshine.
This race is such a lovely low key event, that I’ve run it for the last few years. I love how you park your car right next to the start / finish area. This year, the common hadn’t been cut, so it was a bit of an adventure getting the car onto the common, and wading through the grass to pick up my number.
As 10K races go, it was hot, it was fast, I felt like I was pushing as hard as I could but Tuesday’s Lacock Relay was still in my legs so i didn’t worry about the time but figured I’d take it a little easier in the first half and see how it went. In the second half I was still feelingokay so I pushed a bit harder. Past the Great Chalfield Manor, past the scary barking dog, up the long long hill at 8K and sudenly I was passing a few runners. This felt good! As the long straight road led to the finish I could see groups of Harriers shirts again, and here “Come on Chippenham!” and also “Come on Lucy!” being shouted. It felt good, so I pushed for my sprint finish.
The warm bottle of water at the end has never tasted so good! I had finished strongly, I hadn’t got a stitch this year, and I hadn’t let my* Harrier’s shirt down. I stood with the other Harriers, clapping the rest of the runners in, and shouting wildly when we saw another Harrier. It was lovely, when people started to talk about leaving, one lady said “Are all the Harriers in? We don’t want to let any of them come in after we’ve gone!”
On getting home and uploading the data, my time was 57:28 which is definitely not a PB. However, my final 0.2 mile sprint finish, according to Strava, was the fastest I’ve run it at 6:58 minutes per mile. This is fantastic, although I don’t know if I believe it! Roll on those stiff legs tomorrow!
* Actually I still haven’t got my own shirt – this is still a borrowed shirt from another, very lovely Lucy. Thank you Lucy!