Leamington Regency 10k

During the middle of the week my feet were a bit of a wreck with the skin rubbed raw under the arches. With the weather being good at the moment I had half considered to go on a long bike ride instead, but fortunately the feet recovered enough to do the 10k at Leamington that I had entered a few weeks back. I decided that as the weather was a bit too warm I would just try to enjoy my run and not bother with pace cards and pb's. I ran in my father's old Small Heath Harriers vest which must be older than me as the club folded in 1980. As a senior he would have been running somewhere between 1965-1975 so the vest could be anything up to 42 years old! The vest will have never been round a 10k so slowly!

I had to set my alarm clock for 6.45am as it was a good hours drive away to arrive in plenty of time for a 9am start. Its a bit too early for my liking but then at least we avoided the heat of the day which was predicted to reach about 23 degrees (though was already 18 degrees by the time I returned back to the car at 10am). I drank too much water before the start so was a bit worried that I might get stitch later.

I made sure I was a couple of rows away from the front of the start to ensure that I didn't get pushed along at too fast a pace and just sat back as much as possible. The first km I did in about 3.36 and I was just trying to ensure that I was running well within myself. Just after there was a very steep but shortish 40sec climb which tested the legs so again made sure I didn't work too hard as I would pay for it later. The course then followed a well bound gravel track next to the golf course until about the 5km mark. This part of the course had a few turns and was mainly flat. At about 2km there was a lot of water gushing across the track so the feet got a total soaking. It seemed a bit strange how fast it was flowing and when I looked to my left it appeared that one of the tanks at the sewage works was overflowing which I thought was a bit crappy...

Throughout this section of the course I kept picking people off, but when I did I decided to run behind them for a short while to recover until moving on to the next person. After about 5km the golf tracks finished and we headed into the town and its parks. I was still feeling pretty good and knowing in the race literature that this part of the course was reasonably flat I opened up my legs a bit. At 5.5 km I reached the drinks station and as I still felt pretty good I decided to run as hard as I could for the remainder of the course.

Throughout the town section the crowds were very supportive which spurred me on even more. I kept picking people off one by one, though the gaps were often quite big, usually 30-50 metres apart. Although the course was mainly flat there were loads of very sharp turns, sometimes 180 degrees which slowed things down a little.

All in all I finished in a time of 37.08 going through 5km in 19.00 which meant I ran a negative split as the second 5km was completed in 18.08! I know that I went through 8km in dead on 30 mins so at the pace I was going I would have beaten my best run at Fradley (36.23) had the course been another 1.5miles longer. Doing the maths it appears that the last 2km was run at 35.30 pace!! I finished still feeling quite fresh and very positive about my run and having felt like I had learned a lot more than all of my other runs to date put together. It shows that I do have the stamina, more so since no one overtook me after 1.5km and overtaking about 20 people in the second half of the course (some of whom were well ahead of me). It reminded me of how I used to run when I was still a junior. Overall I came 13th out of 1,214.

I was a little concerned about opening my legs too early and in retrospect I could have gone harder after 4km rather than wait until 5.5km, but this is something to know for next time. It also shows that I don't need pace cards - perhaps I am too desperate to run sub 36mins. It will come in time but until then I just need to run my own race and keep training.

I now feel a lot more positive about the half marathon I have in two weeks time at Stratford. The only lingering doubt are my feet as I was beginning to feel that burning sensation after 5 miles, so I am not sure how they will cope with 13. I've decided that I'm not going to run very hard at Stratford but will aim to finish in less than 1.30. If I could run around 1.25 then that would be brilliant but might be too much of an ask. In truth I have no idea what time I am likely to run so its all a bit of an unknown. Until then I will go for my last long run on Wednesday and will then taper off to get my legs ready for the half on the 29th.


  1. Well done on the 10k, wish I could run it that quickly!

  2. Thanks! Really enjoyed the run and a nice morning out. Time to move up to my first half marathon on the 29th so really looking forward to it.

    Have been keeping an eye out on your blog - well done at Belvoir. Where's your next race?

  3. Thanks, I just hope my Achilles isn't going to cause me many problems! I am doing the White Peak half marathon May 19th, and have a challenge walk at the end of April, that's it so far but may look for any other events coming up.

    Good luck for Stratford!


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