This week’s ST report: Fleetwood 10m
My first 10 mile – probably the hardest race I’ve run yet and the first where I’ve tried to use any sort of tactics. Fleetwood’s a pretty bleak port town when the rain’s driving horizontally through you. The starter described it as “a bit draughty” – I’d hate think what “a bit fresh” or “might be coming up a bit of a gale later” would feel like. I guess living on a sand bank stuck out into the sea gives a different perspective on things! Some folk kitted up but then blew like sails – I opted for aerodynamic skin but I swear there is a lot less of it now than at starting due to the (wet) sand blasting along the way.
We set off down the shore straight into the wind and it soon became obvious this was going to be hard work. I decided I needed some shelter like in bike racing. There was a group 50-75 yards in front of me and after about half a mile of effort managed to close the gap and get some relief. First turn and the wind behind us – oh joy! Hm, folk passing me – less joy. Back into the wind again and a stringy old bloke just in front of me. We did bit and bit for maybe half / a mile but I decided he wasn’t going fast enough(!) and that I needed to pull up to a group in front again. About the 5 mile drink station we really caught the wind worse than ever and I felt like I was running on the spot (Garmin says 11 min miles but I’d I think that’s generous) and my gentleman friend later vouchsafed he’d almost gone face down he was leaning that hard into the wind which then dropped for a second.
Failed entirely to catch the group and spent the next two miles hacking into the head wind alone bar a young bloke who sat on my tail for quite a way and only came to the front to do his share just before the last turn. Nice relief going with the wind but nothing left in the legs to take advantage and past comes my man again. Kept trying to convince my legs to make a bit more effort but the gap just got wider. Finish time 1,26,43 (against 1,25 I was hoping for) and Mr Grey had put the best part of a minute into me in three and a bit miles – must try harder!
After that the Welcome Tavern 5k on Tuesday should feel like a mere run round the car park – assuming my legs still work at all – see you there!