Juneathon Day 28. Great Chalfield 10K Race Report

So one of the secrets of a good result is good preparation.  In this house that usually means good food.  So good race preparation means a good carb load.  Cue the ultimate triple carb meal.  Pasta,  potatoes AND bread!  And jolly tasty too


It’s actually Minestrone Soup with Focaccia bread. All home made, and even eaten outside because it was a lovely evening. It was so good I even had some more for race day lunch (I find evening races really weird to get myself organised for – wot no porridge?)

Thursday dawned warm and sunny again, so with a line full of washing drying I spent the day gardening and allotmenteering. Maybe not as good race prep as the meal. I was worried about the heat though, as running in the sun tends to push my heart rate sky high, meaning I feel shattered and have to slow down. My rain dance must have worked, because bang on 4 pm the rain started.

By the time I made it to the race it was pouring down, chilly and quite miserable.

View from my car at the start
View from my car at the start

This is a great little race run with, and raising funds for, the local Scout group. Last year there were 97 runners, the sun shone, and everyone was cheerful and friendly. (See last year’s race report here, with some much prettier photos!) This year, there were 71 runners, the sun was nowhere to be seen but everyone was still cheerful. Bless the marshals who had to stand out in the rain until we’d run past. One was heard to cry defiantly that he didn’t need an umbrella, he was a Scout Leader!

It was freezing standing around waiting for the off, I dutifully listened to the pre-race briefing and was most amused to hear that each kilometre would be marked by a big sign. Apart from Kilometre 6, because they couldn’t find the sign. You’ve got to love these little races!

Great Chalfield 10K 2013 Start
The start. Already soaked

Eventually we were off, and i was amazed to find that, as I’d hoped, by the 1Km sign i was already warm. I was wishing I’d worn my compression socks to keep my calves and shins warm though, because I could feel my right shin just feeling a little sore. I did a Jens Voigt, told it to shut up, and ignored it. I was aiming to keep as close to 9 minute miles as I could, which I duly did. With a small field, once we were off the Common we quickly separated and I found myself running on my own. I did overtake one man, but after that there were long sections where I couldn’t even see any other runners.

It was all feeling good, but as I got to the 5K marker I did question if I could keep this pace up for another 5K. My legs just kept on going though, so I told my head to shut up and pushed on. As last year, Great Chalfield Manor surprised me by suddenly appearing and then disappearing at around 8K. After this I had memories of a long hill back up to the Common (and the finish line) from last year where I overtook a couple of people who had slowed to a walk. Maybe they’ve taken a steamroller to the course since last year, or maybe I’m a bit fitter, because there was a just small incline there this year. No walkers to overtake either. Curses – always an ego boost!

I splashed my way back along the Common and as I crossed the finish line I heard them shout out my time, 55:21. Wow, wow and wow!

Great Chalfield 10K 2013 Finish
The End is Nigh!

A new PB! To put it in context, my time for the same race last year (but in the warm sunshine) was 59:26. My previous 10K PB, from 2011, was set on the pancake flat Castle Combe Circuit and was 58:35. How lovely to see this as I uploaded my times to Garmin Connect:-

new 10K PB
Oh yes, I think I’ll accept this new PB!

Okay – so I take it ‘resting on my laurels’ will count as an activity for the rest of Juneathon??! (Just in case it doesn’t I’ll do my Abs DVD again later).

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