This past weekend I competed in the Welwyn 10k. It’s a fairly new event taking in a single loop around the lovely village of Welwyn. The forecast was muggy with a chance of rain, 18 degrees and cloudy.
Registration was nice and simple and we got there with plenty of time, which was a good move as by about 10am several hundred runners and supporters had arrived and were milling around the registration tent.
The event started at a leisurely 11am and I posted myself in the sub-50 minute starting group. My previous10k race ended in a PB of 51:23 but I was determined to break the 50 minute barrier.
The first couple of kilometres went by at a decent pace (4:30/km) and then just before 3km we hit a substantial hill. This went on for nearly one kilometre which started to take the stuffing out of my legs. I posted a 5:36 through that section and started to get worried for my sub-50. When you’ve got used to struggling up a hill it’s then difficult to get back into a decent pace.
But I knew that these kilometres were crucial to my time so I managed to get my mind focused and get back into my target pace – 4:45/km.
Approaching 9km I saw the final hill and the timing was looking tight. I put it in going up and pretty quickly crested and then opened up the pace for the downhill (I’ve had to learn to take the free speed so to speak, as in previous races I have lost a lot of time cruising down a hill).
Coming off the hill and back into the finish area my watch reported just under 48 minutes so I knew I had made it. I went for a sprint finish but didn’t realise the finish chute looped around so by the time I saw the finish gantry my legs were shot so I just plodded over the line.
I was so chuffed – 49:16 – a new PB and sub-50!
By this point is was raining quite heavily and I was very hot and red in the face. Nothing a banana, some water and a nice big lunch couldn’t sort out!
I’d highly recommend the course and the event, very well organised and some great spots near the start/finish for spectators.
I’m feeling in good shape to complete my training ready for the London Triathlon in early August, it’ll probably be next year before I race another 10k so we’ll see what my next challenge will be!