I booked up for this race and Marie quickly decided it would be a good idea for us to ditch the kids at the in-laws and have a nice night away together. As race day approached I wasn’t too optimistic about how I might perform but was looking forward to a night away none the less.
Sunday 26th May
Took part in the Whitsun woodland trail run, although relatively pleased with my time there I found it a real effort and had to use every last drop of energy to cross the line without a flourish.
Tuesday 28th May
Felt awful at Harriers training session. Lost all energy after 2 hill reps and only about 5 minutes in. My feet felt like lumps of lead, my lungs couldn’t grasp the air I was asking them for and I felt dizzy at the top of each hill having to stop a couple of times until the stars stopped floating around in my vision.
Saturday 1st June
0900 – Harriers time trial, 1st kilometre was ok then, as on Tuesday, my body wasn’t as willing as my attitude to run fast.
1400 – Visiting family had left after a visit for lunch so it was time to pack our overnight bags. Realising that none of my current running shorts had made it through the wash I had to dig to the bottom of the wardrobe for an old pair which had no elastic left and a bust zip on the pocket.
1600 – Drop the kids off and set off for Bamburgh.
1730 – Arrived at The Mizen Head hotel and checked in to a lovely room with a view of the castle over the rooftop (if you were over 6 foot tall) and the sea in the distance.
1900 – We went out for our tea at The Lord Crew hotel down the road. I had a very tasty chicken, chilli and chorizo linguini, Marie chose a burger, we filled up with a dessert each then we had a wander down the road to suss out where the event start was.
2030 – Heading back to the hotel and out of the blue I had the sudden realisation that I’d left my running shoes at home! I’d completely forgotten to pack them. We quickly thought through all possibilities of how I might get hold of them. My brother was planning on coming to spectate so if he set off earlier he could pick up our spare house key from the in-laws, collect them and drop them off. No, that was asking too much of him so we ruled that out. I could set off home to pick them up but it would be a 3 hour round trip, meaning I’d not be back at the hotel until too late so ruled that out too. I resigned myself to the fact that I’d have to run in the casual trainers I was wearing.
2230 – Lights out for an early night and a lie in in the morning so I might wake feeling revitalised after a kid free night’s sleep.
Sunday 2nd June
0515 – No lie in then.
0800 – We’re 1st in the queue for breakfast as I’m feeling anxious about the timings for the morning. An hour and a half to have breakfast, get ready and packed up, check out and walk a mile to the start. I should learn to be more relaxed as we made it to the registration 20 minutes before the start.
0920 – I believe the race used to start up at the castle but this year the start and finish was at a non-descript car park about half a mile down the road. I didn’t feel too optimistic about having a great race, with a poor week of running leading up to this, the wrong shorts, the wrong shoes, a poor night’s sleep and being all flustered getting there so placed myself towards the front of the middle of the pack, expecting to finish anywhere between 50 minutes to an hour.
0930 – The race began with a 3/4 lap of the car park before heading back towards the village on the main road. The 1st 100m was a bit of a shuffle but it opened up and I found myself in plenty of space to get going. I kept to the right of the pack, ducking back onto the left hand side of the road as traffic headed towards us on the open roads as we approached the imposing Bamburgh castle. The only hill was from the start and through the village and as I reached the left turn at The Victoria pub onto the back straight country lane section of the course I felt surprisingly good. It felt like my feet were gliding across the ground, my legs felt light and free and my breathing was steady and rhythmic, in sync with every 4 strides. The course was as described, undulating, but it didn’t seem to break my rhythm on the inclines and the last kilometre was a downward incline so I managed to finish with a sprint.
I crossed the line, stopped my watch and checked the time, 44:38!! A new PB for me by a whopping 3 minutes! Unbelievable! To paraphrase Sir Alex Ferguson, “running, bloody hell”.
Race results – https://runnation.co.uk/results/bamburgh10k2019
By Sam Rudd.