Friday, October 30, 2015

Cardiff10k 2015 - 30th Anniversary edition - my race review

Another back log post today, this is a race report from the start of September that I didn't get around to completing and posting. I am still catching up on my blogging and I am not teaser trailing my recent marathon reports, really I am not...

Cardiff 10K 2015 
September 3rd 2015

The out of tens:
Course: 9/10 - super flat course
Marshalling: 9/10 - looked to be a really happy bunch as usual, though happily I had no need to make use of any directly.
Facilities: 7/10 - penned in by the building of the city centre the port-a-loo provision is always a small issue. The athletes village was a busy place that was jumping with a live band.
Organisation: 9/10 - Cardiff 10k do run a good simple no fuss event. As last year a single point deducted for the disposable timing chips.
Fellow runners: 10/10 - a happy and jolly bunch bubbling around the course.
Crowd: 8/10 - fabulous support in the start / finish area, crowds were patchy in the middle of the race.
My performance: 9/10 - I had a plan and I stuck to it - almost - see below.
My time: 58:10

From the Cardiff10k flickr feed - (Photo by Matthew Horwood)

My Race
For me this was not so much a race as it was all about preparation, preparation for the two marathons to come. So what this meant was steady running, containing my enthusiasm and perhaps feeling about what marathon pace will be. I intended to set off at around 6 minutes per kilometre and then perhaps let my pace sneak upwards in the last couple of kilometres. On race day I planned to walk to the start and so be nice and loose before doing my training plan prescription long run after the race. In my enthusiasm (and fear of being late for the start) I pretty much ran all the way to the race adding a bit more distance. Arriving in the start village I made a rush for the port-a-loo and joined a huge queue of other nervous runners. Watching my clock I knew it was going to be tight, but as I was planning to set out slow I realised I didn't much care if I missed the start remembering that I was wearing a timing chip.

By the time I got finished in the loo the starter's horn had gone off and I joined the back of the pack to get going. The start area was buzzing with positive energy and I enjoyed the obligatory shuffle to the start line. My main goal at that point being to just go enjoy it. The weather claimed a top temp of 18 degrees Celsius but it felt much warmer as there was not a cloud in the sky. I was so chuffed with the pace that I found and that it was somewhere near what I thought might be that elusive marathon pace. Through to halfway I was having a ball.

The second half of the race I let the brakes off as soon as I hit the 5k marker I just couldn't hold back for the last 2k. That said I didn't go crazy I slowly ramped up the speed so that my watch was consistently reporting a dropping average pace. Into the last 1k I pushed along a bit and then in the height of a sense of fun 'raced' some random guy across the finish line in a 50m dash. I smiled and laughed at myself then remembered I had the long run to do, oops!

I met with my family took a drink and then set off for my long run with what I discovered were leaden legs. The heat of the day and the sprint finish of the race meant that the long run was hard, but it was the kind of day where I didn't mind too much considering it all good 26.2 mile preparation. My route for that long run was winding and rambling, and even doubled back along part of the 10k race course. The only plan I had for the route in the end was to revisit the water station and see if they had any left overs... and they did! They were tidying up and had part of a pallet of bottles left, so I helped myself and again considered it great marathon training as I would have to negotiate multiple water pickups through the race.

All in all I had a really great day, the organisation is fabulously friendly (the route green, fast and flat), and it was easy to see how they have successfully made it through to their 30th edition. Long may the race continue.

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