Flitwick 10K, third time lucky!, 10/4/11

Editor reports on completing the event for a change without injury:

At the 2009 event I had to withdraw in advance due to injury. I still cycled to the event to support other VRUK & VCAC members and discovered my number and chip had been re-allocated. It was only during the event that I realised this was the case when in the finish area and hearing the commentary. The commentator did not have the latest list of runners and the leader had my number & chip so, my name & VRUK was regularly being mentioned. Eventually I informed him of the error and a messenger was quickly sent to the hall to obtain the latest list of entrants.

At the 2010 event I was taking a risk after a recent injury and reached about 6K before the pain suddenly started. I was able to walk to the finish without too much discomfort and collect my goody bag. Obviously it was my slowest time ever for a 10K but not last. Cycled back without a problem.

Today I was feeling confident I would end this run of bad luck. Starting out on the bike it was quite cold but gradually warmed up over the 1.5 hours. Reached the venue feeling a little tired with hills on the journey and not much recent cycling. Had just over 30 mins before the start. There seemed to be some delay before the start but not aware of an announcement, maybe just traffic issues ahead, vehicles from the estate having to do a u-turn as I noticed when supporting in 2009. Suddenly without any pre-race warnings the hooter sounded. There were obviously too many runners lining up in the sub-40 and higher, leading to a slow start for many faster runners. I took a detour round the back of some supporters and probably overtook 50 or so in a short space.

Going round the first corner we are greeted with the first of six notable hills which brought me back to earth and the feelings of stiffness after the bike journey. It was followed by a downhill and a long stretch of gentle gradients making it feel more comfortable. It was followed by the long testing climb into Steppingley and similarly downhill out of the village and towards the M1. By now I was into a routine and generally moving up the field as we ran roughly parallel to the M1 going south. I knew there were four more hills in the 2nd half but had negotiated them without a problem on other occasions. It turned out well again with the last 500 metres or so downhill leading to the village Green and the finish. The chips were tied to shoe laces so glad there was a team on hand to remove them. I did not see the clock at the finish so hoped it was a good time by my standards. It was later on the noticeboard as 42:29 and exactly100th so quite content.

Cycled back through various scenic areas adding more miles to the original outward journey.