Peter Reports on the annual visit to the Aylesbury Rugby Club for the Bearbrook 10K road race.
With a planned cycle ride of about 12 miles following a train journey to Cheddington, timing meant I arrived at 8.20am for a 9.30am start. It was surprisingly still quite a cool morning on arrival and it was only just before the start that it suddenly felt warm. This year the club house was being redeveloped so it was a case of marquees and mobile toilets. I fancied a warming tea with a long wait but it took about an hour for the water to sufficiently warm-up to be served.
The start-line was moved back about 30 metres or to the left of the entrance so the slower runners had to lead us out onto the road while the potential leaders of the race wait patiently hoping they would not be late to the start-line. As so often happens with this event, the organisers don’t give you a moment to relax in your start position, just as we turned round to face the right direction, the start gun went off. I guess there were some runners still not in position.
Off I went at a relaxed pace, I had not planned to attempt a fast time this year, my last few runs here of sub-42 mins turned out to be seasons best times. The first mile is fairly flat so easy to take off otherwise only a slight climb towards Wendover. Running through Wendover, the obstacle is the pavements and crossing side roads leading onto the A413. I seemed to find another runner of the same pace and we both continued to move slowly up the field until we turned off towards RAF Halton at about 5K when I seemed to leave him behind as we ascended. Here there is about 2K of undulations that many runners describe as hard whereas I would say it helps the runner to improve or gives you value for money!
At about 7K we turn left and head back westwards towards the rugby club, almost in a straight line and gradually downhill. Quite a nice feeling until we turn into the rugby club and onto the bumpy field where we complete more or less the perimeter of a pitch before crossing the line. At this stage I was feeling tired and just trying to maintain a pace but approaching the line was overtaken by two fast finishing male runners. The clock was showing just over 42:40 which later was corrected to 42:51. Traditionally this race is frequented by members of the Vegetarian Cycling & Athletic Club so I once again entered for my former 1st claim club. Unfortunately this year there was only one other VC&AC member, Keith Hammond who leads the running section and the over-50 category. Recently Keith took the over-50 prize at the Wellingborough 5 miles but today there was an elite over-50 runner present who finished in 35 minutes. Keith was 3rd V50 in 39 mins and I was 6th V50.
The cycle ride back to Cheddington was a little more uphill otherwise still pleasant. The timing of the train meant that I may not arrive home in time to see the winner of the men’s olympic marathon cross the line. By luck I turned on the TV and the winner was racing down The Mall to the finish line. Amazing timing!