Headington 10K – 31 Aug 08

Less than half the distance cycling and running as compared to Burnham Beeches two weekes earlier it should not be difficult I thought. Firstly I had to reach Bicester about 25 miles away by coach so had to take the fold-up bike. It was a surprisingly foggy morning. There followed an 11 mile ride according to the sign-posts. Most of the ride was on the back roads which were surprisingly smooth. The venue was a disused airfield at Worminghall, several miles from Oxford or Headington. The organising club made every effort to provide the facilities. Obviously with the airfield, there was almost limitless parking. There were various marquees and even small tents for changing. The vegan company TREK were there giving out samples of their energy bars but I resisted until after the race. I soon met member Sharon Davidson who was parked nearby and had encouraged her parents and colleagues from work to run. The fog had cleared before the start but heavy rain was forecast.

The 10K race was partly inside the airfield and on the public road around the outside. There did not appear to be much competition to get a good place close to the start line so I found myself rubbing shoulders with whom I presumed were fast runners. With a flat course and fairly wide start, I got a good start. After about 1.5K we did a U-turn and could see everyone behind as well as ahead. We turned right onto the public road after 2+K and left. A few spots of rain started falling which gradually became more persistent. I was going well on the flat course not appearing to be affected by the earlier cycle ride. Entering the airfield again at 7K, it was rather bumpy under foot with the airfield breaking up.

The long straight & flat runway helped to maintain a steady pace which I increased towards the end. The rain had unfortunately become heavy and had difficult keeping my glasses in place. I crossed the line in 41.33, one of my better times. Quickly took shelter in the small changing tent which did not have a base. Two older runners joined me and they turned out to be two elite V60s who ran times of 37 minutes! Sharon could not see the clock due to the rain but thought it was 47+ mins but it turned out to be 46.58, a PB of 1-2 minutes if correct!

The rain had mostly cleared by the time I left.

Regards
Peter Simpson

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