Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Dechmont Law 10K Trail Race

There was a fine mist falling at the start of the race, and the temperature was cool, but not cold. In Scotland, this type of weather isn't unusual in the summer - indeed, in some of the summers I've lived here, it seems like it has rained almost every day.

The start was in a grass field in a park. I went out medium fast. The route wound up, off the wet grass, and onto a trail through the woods. I was a bit out of breath, but realised that there was lots of race left, and there was no need to push too hard too early.

After a downhill stretch we climbed again, and then had another descent through some pine trees. An aquaintance, M., eased past me here. M. and I are comparable running-wise; he's definitely a faster 10K runner, but I've once beaten him in a hill race.

I decided to try and stick with M. He was running a good pace.

As we ran along the trail M. started picking off runners. I followed each time. On a flatter stretch, I was feeling good and drew even with him. I suggested that we try and catch a runner in a white shirt who was about 50 meters ahead of us. He agreed. A sign informed us that we were 2 kilometers from the finish.

I focussed on the guy in the white shirt and picked up the pace. He might have been slowing a bit. On a slight rise on a bridge I sped up slightly and passed him, and the used the descent on the other side of the bridge to pull away.

There was a climb through the woods and over a grassy slope before the last descent to the finish. I knew M. wasn't far behind me. I thought that if I was able to stay in front of him on this last climb, I could sprint to the finish.

I did so, and finished in 41:19, a personal best. I was 32nd out of a field of 135.

(Later, M. checked his Garmin and noted that the distance was only 9.5km, so my time might not really count as a 10k personal best.)

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