I went into tonight’s Broughshane 10k not really expecting much. Despite my best intentions I’d only run once since last week’s jaunt up to the Brighton Marina so I knew tonight would have been quite the struggle … or at least I feared that’d be the case.
The reality was a bit different. Beforehand. I had two objectives, namely don’t come last and be relatively pleased with my performance. With that in mind I suppose I can write tonight off as a guarded success.
Weather wise it had been an interesting day. Lots of thunder, lightning and heavy rain earlier in the afternoon and more forecase for exactly the time of the race but, come the start, it was a glorious summer evening, a perfect night for a run.
The start was also the most picturesque I’ve experienced to date, beside a river and in landscaped grounds, befitting of Broughshane’s status as the ‘Garden Village of Ulster’.
It was also uphill. Ok, it was only a little rise but it was still strange to run uphill at the start of a race … thankfully it then dropped quite steeply before going onto the main road through the village.
Of course that meant I went off far too quickly – my fastest opening kilometre since I started measuring runs with a Garmin …. and we all know what that means. True to form I felt the pace after the first mile and, perhaps, my lack of running recently came home to roost.
I ran with a group of ladies from the club for a while, which was good, but the pain in my legs meant that I wasn’t quite able to keep up. I had them in my sights all the way round the course but I just couldn’t catch them.
However, after a couple of miles, I was joined by Mairead – one of the two tailrunners – who offered to run with me the rest of the way. I was most appreciative of this because the company was good, and the chat kept me focused on something else other than my legs, comparing running stories and experiences.
She also kept me going when otherwise I might have stopped plus there was the added incentive of the other tailrunner encouraging a couple of others behind us … they were about a minute further back, but we could hear them and there was no way I was letting them catch us!
The course, as it left Broughshane, turned into a bit of trail which was a new experience for me but, at the same time, was a bit of fun.
After a short while we were back on good old tarmac but then the heavens opened! And how they opened! It was torrential – and there was some good old thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure – but I didn’t mind, not really. In fact, I had more sympathy for the poor marshals being stuck out in it waiting for us slow coaches to pass.
Up to a certain point quite late on in the run I was on course for a PB. It didn’t happen due to a couple of quite steep hills that I just walked up but, as I said at the outset, as long as I was happy with my performance tonight then I wasn’t going to worry too much.
By and large I was happy. Maybe not because I went off too quick but, timewise, it was amongst my quickest competitive 10k, and faster than my last three races, although still someway off my PB.
Well done to everyone who ran tonight in those conditions, and many thanks to Mairead for helping me round. I hope I didn’t complain too much!