St Helens 10k 2013

Its been another busy weekend of racing for Wigan Harriers despite the worst that the wind rain and the odd virus could throw at us. First up is the St Helens 10k at which we were represented by Mark Glynn, Peter Mills and Darren Jackson. First report in his own words from Darren:

Well it was cold morning and I wasn’t sure whether it was going to rain, although I appreciate when it’s not too hot because of being a sweaty individual. All wrapped up and ready to go Pete Mills and I made our way to St Helens rugby ground to embark on my first 10k in 10 months. Not knowing where I was at in terms of speed work I had made my mind up that I was going to try to achieve sub 40 given that my endurance is back to some decent level in the last five weeks. Pete and I met with Mark Glyn who had done the race the last couple of years and coming in the top four last year.  Mark informed me that me it was hilly!  Mark and I prepared in the first pens ready to set off, neither of us not knowing what to expect.

To achieve the 10k PB I knew that I needed to be running at 6:25 and be able sustain this throughout the race.  The first mile was far too fast and I’d gone through this at 5:40.  Rather than trying to hold this I slowed right down and ran the next couple of miles between 6:10 and 6:15. The hills and returns took the toll and at 4.5 miles I was running at 6:40. I was able to respond and picked it back up to around 6:18 and tried to hold the pace.  Returning on the hills I saw Mark coming down and Pete going up, both my compatriots were working hard and I was proud to wear the Wigan Harriers vest. There was a guy about 400 meters in front and the same behind. At 5 miles I knew that I was going to get the sub 40 that I have been working on for what seems a lifetime. Colin (the chimp) was happy and worked hard to achieve the 15 second PB. I felt really strong and aim to take another minute of the PB this year. I know I’m lacking in some aspects of training but I’m looking forward to training and competing again.

Next up was new member Peter Mills:

I had actually signed up for this race before I was an official Harrier.But I’m very proud to be a member now.

The night before St Helens 10k was an uncertain affair for myself. A head cold, sore throat and cough decided to make another appearance before a race After some emergency herbal remedies and the usual bargain 60p Tesco’s cold tabs I woke up feeling definitely no worse. The race was on!

I met up with Darren Jackson and later Mark Glynn.I arrived with Darren and had a useful pep talk on tactics and staying positive despite feeling under the weather. It helped! The particularly chilly climate of far away St Helens made me reach again for my jacket. A last minute word from Mr Jackson and threat of Harriers ridicule for life if I ran in my Nike jacket meant I quickly came to my senses and decided to run in a flimsy Mothercare sized, paper thin Nike black vest instead. I couldnt possibly wear the tiny Harriers vest that was so kindly loaned to me.The 80s glam rock scene has long since gone…

The welcome staggered starts meant no unwelcome pushing or shoving occurred.. I set off with the intention of sticking to 7min miles and listening closely to my body. My legs felt great and the tapering of only 11 miles running the previous week paid off immediately. No lactic build up and no tight chest. Just before my Garmin beeped at mile one, I took note of the pace and realised my body was pushing too hard too soon. I hit the brakes and let a few runners pass me.Checking my watch more regularly than ever before I managed to maintain a good steady sub 7min mile pace for almost the whole 10k.Much welcomed ‘well done’s and ‘keep it up’ shouts from Darren and Mark shook me out of my trance like pace and let me pick it up a little more when required.

At 4/5 miles a runner from a small group who had tagged on just behind me for what seemed like an eternity went past and commented on how bad the wind was.(no bean jokes please Graham ;O).I hastily agreed and then jumped behind this human shield for the next ¾ of a mile.

As I entered Langtree Park Stadium two of the group following fancied their chances and overtook me.They increased their pace to slide past – Cheeky buggers!I thought after 6 miles of hard bloody work – how dare they!…..I knew at the stadium entrance point that I would try for the full on sprint unless they REALLY gave it their all. At about 100metres they were no further than 30ft ahead so I hit the afterburners and then some more…The crowd roared the announcer shouted ‘something’ but this caused them both to glance over their shoulders and go for gold but before they knew what had hit them I was inching across the finish line just in front.

Apparently runner 1019 was ahead. I dispute this though as I could see them both slightly behind me at the line and strangely on photos published – that isn’t even his number?  But 76place achieved. Smashed my 10k time by over a minute with new PB of 43.17 and enjoyed the company of other Harriers. I  had a great day all round.Onwards and upwards to my biggest challenge (Not for Darren or Mark ;0) target time of sub40 10k.