Wessex Autism 10km


Having not “raced” in any way, shape or form for almost two years I decided that I was probably rested enough to toe the line.

So with the local Wessex Autism 10km moving from Somerley House to Moors Valley Country Park it seemed a good time to come out and bag a PB – new course, never done it before so guaranteed a PB.

Cycling to the park made for an interesting warm up given that there was ice on the puddles and a few wibbly, wobbly bits on the bike – not referring to my physique rather the rear wheel slide outs. The park was pretty busy with athletes and support crews milling about – some  unusual fashion choices with all sorts of hats, gloves & running kit combinations.

A longer than anticipated meander up to the start line meant that the race started a little after 11am but the runners all seemed to still be in the holiday spirit. I knew from the half dozen or so runs done preceding the race that I would be getting my money’s worth – anticipating that I’d be on course for around the 63 minute mark.  

One of the team athletes, Lou Dutch was also out in the race but I didn’t see her which was hardly surprising as the race had sold out some months previous with 500 runners looking to run it. However, from the testing that we had previously done I was anticipating Lou running the 10km in around the 51.28 time.

First couple of ks were pretty much shoulder to shoulder until the field started to separate, the course twisted and turned through the park being mainly off road on trails with some tarmac. I was plodding along enjoying the sunshine until the 5km mark. It wasn’t the uphill pull on sand or the fact that I was only halfway through that got to me but one of the marshals obviously quickly glanced up and mistook my white gilet for a football shirt and shouted “Go on England” at me…

I realised that it was too cold to cry, so tucked my trembling bottom lip back in and just plodded on.

Last couple of ks took us out & back from Potterne Park, so got a chance to look at the swans. Heading back towards the train station & swing park I could hear Di’s voice carrying across the lake, tried to maintain some form as I came up the finish chute crossing the line in an official time of 62.11 and although slow I though Graham will be pleased as I went through the first 5k at around 31.40 so even managed a negative split.

Didn’t see Lou at the end but her official time was shown as 51.56 so not far off what was projected.

Got home, emptied out the goody bag & saw that I’d won a spot prize and was entitled to a free pair of trainers from the race sponsor – nice tickle.

So overall I was slightly quicker than anticipated, I ticked off a “race” for this year, did a bit for charity, got some base line data to progress with and a free pair of trainers – all in all a good mornings work.

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