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Yateley 10k Road Race Series (Race 2)

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Yateley 10k Road Race Series (Race 2)

I can't remember the last time I ran a 10K race.. well over a year anyway. I think it's mainly because they hurt a lot and I've used the move to Ultras as a thinly-veiled excuse to drop a lot (almost all) speedwork. Which also hurts.  But Berlin demands that all gets put back in the diary so when Susie said she was in for this I thought I should tag along.  As a large bonus Carl and Shaun were in for it too so it was something of a ManVHorse reunion.

There were no places left and no entries on the day so it was a pleading email to the RD to see if I could score one.  I have to admit I was kind of hoping they'd say no but no such luck.

Sandhurst Joggers put on a decent race and this is a 3 race series with about 8-900 runners held on the first Wednesday of each of June, July and August.  The race is usually in my experience timed to coincide with either a thunderstorm or a flash flood but this time despite having a good go at putting enough humidity together for one or both, it was warm and dry.

I'm telling myself there's no pressure on this at all because I ran a hard speedwork session the day before, it's only 10 days in to Berlin training etc. but there's always the fear of a rude awakening that you aren't all that fit and that's pretty much what I got.

It's somehow a pretty tough course though it looks ok on paper.  I like their FAQ which includes the Q 'Is it scenic?' To which the A is 'not particularly' but it's not that bad at all.  The first 3 and a bit K are steadily uphill, there's a long downhill to 7.5K which takes you lower to sea level than the start and it's back up for the last 2.5. 

As we head out of the school venue and round the first corner onto the road, a bunch of (presumably) kids, secreted in the bushes, open fire with a salvo of water bombs and muffled titters.  It could have been worse. Guns or a sarin gas attack for example, but instead felt like a plot from Just William written in the day when it would have been perfectly acceptable to issue corporal punishment on the spot with a box round the ears.  Fortunately kids these days are not as fit as their parents and the missiles didn't even cross the cats eyes. Kind of a shame given all the planning that had gone into it!

I make up some places up the hill as the initial mad dash subsides but I'm not feeling the freshest and that doesn't get any better with the start of the downhill stretch which was disappointing.  The last 2 times I've run this I've ended up in the bushes for a pit stop and yet again the unwanted tradition persists.  I'm so annoyed with myself because this wasn't really necessary and just a trick of the devil on my shoulder to provide a valid excuse to stop running for a bit.  I have to address this.  The voices can't be allowed to win!

I had another stop at 7.5K for a proper soaking from a sponge but this too could have been avoided.  It was however very humid and my heartrate was high so perhaps this is a safety valve.

The last couple of miles are a bit of a slog and I was happy to see the finish after a last small section of downhill.

Chip time is 38:10 for 25th place though the Ambit says I ran for 36:48 (also far below what I should be able to do) so those stops were very wasteful.

Like any seasoned runner I've got a hatful of excuses lined up but I've entered the August edition of this series as well and will be looking for an improvement.

Highly recommend this series - it's decent value at £12 a race (less if you enter more than one as a package); there's a decent medal and a bag of haribo and some water for your trouble.

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