Wythall and Hollywood 10k

Today was another 10k and this time I thought I had a reasonable chance of beating my 2008 PB time of 34.35.  A couple of weeks earlier at the Ramathon Half Marathon I went through 10k in about 35 minutes so I was sure that I must at least have a pretty good chance.

I entered the Wythall and Hollywood 10k, a fairly small race and mostly geared to raising funds for their charity.  There were actually two races at the same time, a 5k loop and then a second loop for 10k runners.  As a result it was going to be impossible to tell what position I would be in until the second lap.


I tried to start relatively easy and after 200 metres I was 10th, quickly moving into 8th and then over the remainder of the first km I moved into 5th.  I knew the second km was uphill although to be honest I didn't think it was all that bad but I knew from my watch that I ran the km about 10 seconds slower.  I was still 5th and about 10 metres behind fourth and third and about a further 15 metres behind second with the leader miles ahead.  The third and fourth km was much of the same although slightly downhill and at the 4km mark we cut back on ourselves and it was at this point I could see the race numbers of those ahead of me and saw that I was third in the 10k, with the first two in my race just ahead of me.  I also had a quick look back and couldn't really see anyone immediately behind me.

At the fifth km the first two runners peeled off to finish their 5km race and at this point I was still 3rd in the 10k.  I felt fairly reasonable to be honest but couldn't increase my pace any further.  At the 6km mark I hit the hill a second time and whilst it still wasn't too bad, I was certainly puffing by now.  It was at this point that the two ahead of me started to move away a little and there was little I could do even though my pace was still reasonable.

Half way, just a few seconds behind the leaders

Over the next 3km it was more of the same, my pace was still just about holding although I fell further behind the leaders.  At 8km there was a weird switch back again, but in contrast to the first lap the second lap 10k runners had to switch back a further 20 metres down the course.  At this point I was already overtaking loads of first lap 5km and 10km runners so it was all a bit confusing.

A couple of hundred metres later on I could suddenly sense someone just on my tail.  Just before I entered the switch back I was well clear of fourth but coming back out I seemed to have someone just behind me.  It is possible that I just didn't see him, but I half suspect he switched back at the same place as the first lap but who knows.

With about 300 metres to go I was overtaken and there was no way I could hold onto his pace.  About 70 metres from the finish I had a quick look at my watch and I suddenly realised I could beat 34 minutes!  Not only would I smash my PB but I had a chance of going sub 34!  I then really tried to up my pace and I crossed the line in about 33.58 - a massive PB!

Just coming into the finish

Overall I'm a little annoyed to be fourth and I have no idea what happened at the switch back, whether those behind just managed to catch me at a rapid pace or switched back too early.  Anyway, I got a huge PB and that is all that matters!

My pace was relatively even and the splits were as follows:

1km - 3.19
2km - 3.30 (hill)
3km - 3.18
4km - 3.18
5km - 3.19 (16.44 at half way)
6km - 3.24
7km - 3.40 (hill)
8km - 3.23
9 km - 3.26
10km - 3.21 (17.14)

Clearly the second lap was a fair bit slower although I was pleased that my times were fairly consistent overall unlike some of my earlier races.  I felt that my pace was good and think that if I want to run much quicker I will need to start doing some reps to try and increase my leg speed.  I'm not sure whether there is much more pace to extract from training as I am at the moment.  I will have a bit of a think about this over the next week.

I do not have anything planned now until late August but will play it by ear and decide whether I will do anything before then.


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