Great Birmingham 10k

Since my exerts from the Greater Manchester Marathon I've taken several days off and whilst more recently my current mileage is back to normal, I've kept all of my runs to less than 10 miles and not done many 'sessions' to speak of.  A couple of weeks ago it was confirmed that I've been called up to represent England in the V35-39 category at the Chester Marathon in October so my training in the next few months will be geared towards this.

Whilst I haven't done any speed sessions since March I quite fancied a 10k to see where my short distance fitness currently is.  The Great Birmingham 10k fit the bill and following my Manchester marathon time I approached the elite co-ordinator for the event, asking them whether it was possible to enter as normal but get a better starting position than in the mass start - the fastest time I could put on the entry form was 'sub 36 mins' and I was concerned I'd be stuck in the pack and it compromise the race.  As it turned out the elite co-ordinator offered me a free elite entry which I gratefully accepted.  My first ever race as an elite!

A week or so before the event the press pack was released and I was included in the list.  When looking down the names it was clear I would be propping up the back of the elite pack...

Start List - Irony of being race number 13!

On the day itself I made my way to the elite warm up area which was something I have never experienced before.  There were some seriously good athletes there and whilst I could have held my own over the marathon distance, I felt a bit of a fraud as I knew my 10k pace was nowhere near as good as the others.

Just before the start - name instead of a number!

As we started I pushed from the off and I was well positioned in about 10th.  I knew my pace was uncomfortably hot for me but I went as hard as I dared and I went through the first km marker in 2.46!!  It turned out after the race that it was probably more like 2.55 but even still for me that was a crazy pace and I knew from that point on the damage was already done.  True to form from about 2km I was starting to feel the pace and I knew it was going to be a hard slog.

Bit by bit I fell back and each km I slowed considerably to the point where even a chance of a PB came and went.  In the main I was running by myself but in the last km I got overtaken by 3 runners and I ended up finishing 18th, last elite and 1 non-elite having overtaken me.  The splits below show how my pace fell away.  Compared to my PB achieved at Wheaton Aston in December I was 29 seconds ahead in Birmingham at the half way point but ended up being 49 seconds slower in the second half of the race.


Coming in to the finish

Whilst my race was naturally disappointing I'm not too disconsolate.  I purposely gambled with my pace, misjudged it and blew up.  I'm pretty certain that had I ran a more sensible pace I could probably have just snuck under 32 minutes.  I probably went too hard as a direct result of my elite entry and stuck with runners who really were a class above me.  Sometimes that is just the way it goes!  None the less I enjoyed the experience and hope I have the same at some point in the future.

TV Still - At Start

 TV Still - One minute in and near to the front.

TV Still - Number 13 Lloyd Biddell


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