Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The Linlithgow 10K

My next attempt to qualify for Boston is in 5 days.


There was no starting gun at the beginning of this year's race, just a loud tone from a starter's microphone.

M., my friend from work, went out fast. I wanted to hang back just a touch, and then pick up the pace later in the race. I didn't want to be out of breath in the first 200 meters of the race.

It was a sunny, cool September day, with no wind. By 2 km in, I caught up to M. We ran together for a bit, and then at 3 km I eased past him. Through these 3 kilometers, our pace was almost exactly 4 minutes/km.

The course went uphill in the fourth kilometer, and my pace slowed a bit. At 5 km, the course was flat again as it went along the loch. This was familiar territory, as it was part of my regular "town" running loop.

By the loch I could hear the familiar footfalls of G., a running friend from town, behind me. He eased past me, and I stuck on his heels. We'd run together many times, and although he could beat me, I was usually able to stick with him.

G. passed a few runners and I stuck with him.

After the loch, the route was uphill towards a farm. Here G. slowed a bit, and I passed him.

At 7 km the route began a slight downhill, and I picked up the pace. I didn't look at my watch.

I wasn't tiring yet, but I was going almost as fast as I could. I tried to pick off runners one at a time.

The last kilometer seemed long. We rounded the final turn and headed towards the finish line by the palace. At the "100 meter to finish" sign I started sprinting, and caught a woman just before the finish line.

I finished in 41:43, probably a personal best for the 10k distance. (Probably, because I'd run a 41:34 7 years earlier, but the course was mismeasured and just under 10k). I was 54th out of 512 runners.

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