My first road race of the year and 10 mile race for some time. Thankfully this one was an 11am start which meant that my wife and 10 week old son could attend to give me some much needed support.
On arrival at Thirsk Racecourse I was very impressed with the car parking, setup and organisation in place at Race HQ. Everyone was really friendly when collecting my race number and once collected I located my fellow Harriers. Everyone seemed in good spirits and eager to get going. A strong headwind had been forecast weather wise so I was expecting a tricky race.
The runners made their way around to the start line which was a 5 minute walk around the back of the racecourse down a country lane. A slightly tight start as the lane was narrow so I squeezed my way to near the front so I was not bogged down once underway. The race director did the usual safety announcements and we were on our way.
Conditions were good and the sun came out which for this time of year it was surprisingly warm. No sign of the head wind in the early stages and I settled into a steady consistent pace. The field then began to spread out and I watched as the leaders sped away at an alarming pace.
I continued to maintain a good speed but I was feeling a bit fatigued after about 3 miles which did not bode well for the 7 miles to come. I managed to take some water on board at the next drinks station and that seemed to kick me into life. 4 miles in and the head wind arrived. It was about the time we did a left turn and began making our way around the loop back towards the racecourse. This made the next 2 miles rather tricky as it felt like I was running in treacle.
At around 6.5 miles the dog leg arrived. We turned left onto a farm lane and ran up it for roughly a mile again through a strong headwind. At this point the leaders could be seen tearing down the opposite side of the road heading for home. Once reaching the turning point (a strategically placed cone) I knew it was a quick slightly downhill 2.5 miles until the end. It was about this time when the blister on my left heel arrived. For some reason my new ds trainer 21’s decided to cause me pain for the first time ever.
With a mile to go, the racecourse came into view and I knew it was almost over. The heel pain at this point was irrelevant as I was in a flat out footrace with a guy running for Billingham Marsh House Harriers. He put up a good fight but my last 600 metres was just too strong for him and I dropped him just before re-entering the racecourse grounds and crossing the finish line.
After catching my breath, collecting my bag and chatting to the Harriers that had finished we headed into Thirsk for a spot of Sunday Lunch.
In summary a very well organised race with some nice scenery. One I would recommend if you are looking for a fast 10 miler. Personally I did not enjoy it when I was racing but that is me being negative as I am always very critical of myself 🙂
Written by Chris Bartle