Sunday, 22 April 2012

Spring Trio 10k report - breaking the 40 minute barrier

Ah, the 10k. As gut-busting as a 5, only twice as long. My first 10k, above, was my second ever race in September 2009. I gasped across the line in 43:57, later thinking that sub-40 would be tough.

Fast forward to the St Patrick's 10k in March 2010, above, and I decided to go for it. I kept to 4 min/ km until the water station at about the 3k mark. After slowing a little to drink, I couldn't bring my pace all the way up again, though I still PB'd at 41:28. The next 2 races were slower. One of them was extremely hot with a time of 44:39. The highlight of that was indecisiveness at a water station about whether to drink or dump it on my head - I ended up throwing it over my shoulder.  

Now to 2012. Given how warm it was - 12 degrees and rising, I decided to road test my Team GB top (I'm from the UK for those that don't know) that I'd planned on wearing first at the marathon. It's actually for sprinters and quite figure-hugging increasing the looks I got before the start, mostly of the "who do you think you are?" kind, though mostly from those doing the race in the official shirt (!). I love it, and it's certainly better than the newly released kit with all the red replaced by light blue. Sorry Stella McCartney :( 
There I am, putting on my new and improved headcam, that didn't record a single second of the race. It should produce good pictures once the battery charges up properly. This race was a 5, 10 and 15k rolled into one, all following the same route with different turnarounds.

My top makes it look like an international event, don't you think? I was just about to wave but knocked elbows with #84, whereupon he said sorry to me. More my fault really.
No pictures from during the race unless some appear elsewhere for me to pilfer. Over the new Peace Bridge I overtook a couple of people settling into a slower pace, and shortly after another guy came steaming through past me. At km1 my watch read 3:42, so way ahead. Under 2 bridges in quick succession, one lady I gradually overtook came flying back past me under 10th street bridge, preceded by a warning "coming very fast on your left!" I know what she thought she was doing, though I doubt it was that effective.
I tried to dial back my speed, and clocked 3:54 on km 2, 3:57 for km 3. If I could just keep that pace up to the turnaround, the sub-40 would be mine. I noticed too that there were 3 guys ahead of me. One of them kept going at the 10 k turnaround, so I thought I was 3rd. More on my mind than that though was giving myself a shove to get my pace back up after the u-turn. Despite my love of running, it's still tempting to back off.
It seemed I wasn't getting the same kind of looks on the way back as I passed other runners. Were they thinking "this guy's got skills"? Or were they just too tired to frown?
At around the 7k mark, I put the idea out of my head to catch the guy in front. I didn't really have the extra speed to call on anyway. Back across the Peace Bridge, and the "impossible barrier" for the 10k was coming down. I'd done the sub-90 half-marathon last year, so about time.
On the home straight, this young lady sped up to run with me. We're not related.
My chip time was 39:23, a PB by 2:05. It turns out that I didn't even notice the 10k winner finishing over 5 minutes ahead, so I placed 4th. I was 2nd in my age group, and got a nice medal for it.
Here's the pace graph. 3 minutes per km is at the top. I averaged just under 3:57 per km.

The ymca being just next to the finish line, I was able to shower and change right away. After that my chief photographer and I went to Wurst for brunch and to re-stock my legs. So apart from the headcam trouble, another great race for 2012.


  1. That is a serious time. Good work.

  2. Tony Mitchelmore (Dad)25 April 2012 at 12:54

    Excellent result (again!)