This time last year the Marriotts Way 10k was my first ever 10k race, which I was really nervous about. Fast forward a year and I’m busy being nervous about my first Half Marathon. How things change!
Another thing that changed significantly this year was the weather. Last year I loved the Marriotts Way run, it was a clear, crisp and sunny autumn day. This year I was woken at 3:30am by torrential downpours and travelled up to Reepham in drizzle under grey skies.
This is a point to point race. Last year we parked at the start, this year we parked at the finish, and, having missed a place on the runners shuttle bus, booked ourselves a cab to the start. This year the registration point was in a field by Woodgate Nursery. So to keep warm we went and lurked in a potting shed, like you do….
Because of the weather I was fully expecting a total mud fest, so I wore my old running shoes instead of my nice shiny new ones, and a jacket and a hat! After an hour shivering in a windy rainy field I was somewhat relieved when the sun peeked from behind the clouds just before the start, and apart from a few very brief and very light showers it stayed dry for the next couple of hours. Hurrah!
As it happens the trail wasn’t as muddy as I expected, the ground is fairly sandy and springy with bark, so seemed to drain well, and apart from a few leaps over puddles, the mud wasn’t too bad. It’s fairly narrow at points, and overtaking is sometimes difficult, but this year they had staggered start times by 15 minutes, so the course was less crowded at the beginning, which seemed to work well.
I had the ends of a cold, DOMS in my legs from Roller Derby the day before and the weather was grotty, so I started off just hoping to make it to the end without too much stopping for a coughing fit. So, off I plodded.
After about 1k I was running behind someone who looked pretty fit, but seemed to be going at a pace I could manage, so I made it my tactic to keep them in my sights. After about 2k I realised I was actually running at a pace that could bring me in under that magic hour time for the 10k that I’d been so desperate to hit since my very first one. So I started working out my time splits to come if under an hour for each kilometre marker.
Right up to 8k I was about 30 seconds ahead of time, then my legs seemed to just run out of steam. It was like batteries running out, they just didn’t want to move any more. By the time I got to 9k I was behind the hour, but I gave myself a darn good talking to and tried to put on a burst of speed for the last kilometre, even managing to overtake my “marker” runner.
Vroom, I went, up that stupid hill at the end to the finish line. Look, video, how high tech!
The goodie bag wasn’t the most amazing goodie bag ever. It was one of the ruck sack style Bags for life containing a medal, a bottle of water (not a water bottle, just water!), a cereal bar and a few flyers. There were also bananas and apples. Lets face it, really I only do these races for a medal and a free banana.
And the final time was…..
Finally made under that magic hour! I know the time isn’t everything, but it’s nice to see some improvement on something you’ve worked so hard on, and coming in under that hour feels really good. (Look at that clock finish time though, could I have been any more precise?)
I imagine I’ll be back at the Marriotts Way 10k again. It’s a lovely route to run, in a lovely area. It’s just a shame public transport to and from the area isn’t better on a Sunday as there’s some lovely pubs around too that need a post run visit!