The first part of my twin 10k challenge is done. The Bendrigg race set off at 2pm today in warm conditions but not too hot for racing and Kendal's Danny Parkinson was looking to set a new course record. Southport Waterloo was represented by myself, Brian Davey, Andy Hudson and Vicky Harvey.
As ever, I set off a bit too fast on the downhill start and hit the first km in 4th place. I expected to pay for such a quick start and get passed but I found myself passing a runner and moving into third place with only Danny and supervet Paul Muller in front of me. I felt I was going well even on the hills and as the km's passed, I was still in third. Although well ahead of me I could still see Paul Muller at 6km and so it was a bit disconcerting to see him running back towards me at 7km! He turned again and sped off into the distance, leaving me a bit puzzled but still nobody had passed me. 8 to 9km is mainly downhill and I felt good even if I was a bit apprehensive about the last km - Heartbreak Hill! A sharp left turn at 9km gave me an opportunity to glance behind and I could see Wesham's Peter Cruse closing me down. I beat Peter at the Dent 14 back in March but only after a real battle with him over the last 3 miles and I am not in the same sort of form now. Heartbreak hill certainly lived up to its name for me today, as soon as I hit it, I died and Peter eased past me to snatch third place by 10 metres. I finished 4th in 38.04, ok my slowest 10k this year but I always feel that this course is between 1-2 minutes slower than an average road 10k. I was also somewhat encouraged because i felt a lot stronger than I have been doing over this distance and this was my highest finishing position ever on this course.
Next in was Brian Davey in just over 40 minutes, Andy ran well to finish in 42 mins and Vicky a little slower than last year but still 6th woman in 47 mins. Unfortunately, we were beaten by local club Helm Hill Harriers for both the team prize and vets team prize.
Paul Muller explained that despite running this race for the last 20 or so years and winning on many occasions, he thought he had gone the wrong way and so turned back. This error no doubt cost him significantly time wise but he held on to 2nd place with ease.
Photos and full results to follow.
Tomorrow, I have to do it all again for the final race in the Polaroid series at Loch Lomond.