Arriving in Reading by train it began to rain and heavier as I cycled to the venue 3-4 miles away. Arriving early I found a COSTA in Woodley centre, a short walk away so took refuge whilst it continued. It had eased by the time I arrived but it was very wet under foot. Suddenly the rain cleared 20 minutes before the start and it was quite warm in the sunshine. Soon met up with John Bateson, John Morgan and the late arriving Sid Delara also by bike. Sid had only yesterday participated in the veterans relays in Sutton Coldfield and said that it was definitely not ideal to be racing the next day.
Given the lower standard of this event, we all lined up together at the head of the field. As we ran downhill and off the park, a significant number overtook me particularly as I have been off for 5 weeks and only resumed training in the past week. John Morgan I understand had not raced since October 2007 when we participated in the English 10K champs at Chichester. John Bateson and Sid soon raced ahead of me and out of sight but John Morgan was just a short distance ahead. There was a significant amount of water in the first 3K otherwise it cleared. By about 3K I managed to ease past John Morgan although feeling a little stiff from the lack of racing. Despite feeling rusty I continued to overtake other runners and even the hill approaching 8K hardly affected me, the driveways on the pavement seem to be more disruptive to your rhythm. I seemed to tire in the closing stages especially climbing that hill in the park but still retained my position and was surprised by the time of 42.35 (66th) about 1 min 18 secs slower than the 2008 event.
Sid finished in 41.23 (5th V50), John Bateson 18th in 38.07 with John Morgan 42.58 and 72nd out of the 600 or so runners. Unfortunately their was no team prizes otherwise we estimate to have been 3rd men’s team.