A great wee run down at Troon last Wednesday night albeit a bleak, cold and damp one. As you can see from the picture (several missing) there was a good turnout of Harriers huddled together more in the hope of a heat rather than team camaraderie ahead of the start line.
Buoyed by the words of those who had run before, ‘don’t wear a t-shirt ya big Jessie’ and ‘you can’t control the weather, that’s pb course material out there’, I reluctantly stripped off the layers and headed out for a warm up. That’s pretty much a first right there for me. I’m usually a line up on the start line and warm up in the first section of the course.
Unsurprised by the weather I was shocked at the size of the field – over 1,000 runners – a real testament to the running community and event organisers. The number of marshals on the course was outstanding, each encouraging and giving of their time on a dreech evening so we could get a run.
Onto the race and I was edged into the sub 40 start group by eager Harriers keen to see me achieve a PB (or blow up at the half way point). I started far too slowly along the narrow coastal path but tucked into a group enjoying the relative shelter afforded by the pack from the blustery winds. As we turned away from the coast past Royal Troon the wind abated and I stretched the legs out to a pace slightly over 4minute kms. Arriving at the 3km marker I approached Calum who was running well. Calum then put the sub-40minute seed firmly back in my head and we took turns leading each other through the winding boulevards through to the 7km marker.
By this stage I was about 20 seconds off a 40minute time so I decided to push for home. Aside for a very short uphill section leading back to the main road I felt strong and approaching Royal Troon for the final km home straight I was buoyed by the strong and vocal Harriers support (I’m pretty much crediting Kirstie and her cheering abilities with what happened next). With a strong tailwind I even managed to pick off a couple of runners on the home straight (I also caught a flailing elbow from a runner who apologised as he thought he was preventing his son from overtaking him) to record a final km split close to 3:30.
Troon has one of those clocks at the finish line you see on the back of the car that elite runners follow around London and it was perilously close to 40 minutes as I flew (relatively) along the prom. I really had to dig deep but crossing the line my watch read:
A first ever sub 40 minute effort at the 10k distance. 🙂
Made even sweeter by the fact I’d had a horrible 16 mile marathon training run on the Monday and completed a tough training session (8x600m reps) the night before.
There were a number of great runs on the evening and lots of PBs in the team making for a great night of running. Official time for me and a shiny new PB of 39:54. I think I’ll stick by the watch – more dramatic.