Christine having run it last year (whilst I was recovering from my appendectomy) it was my turn to run at the second Hursley 10K. The second half of the course is part of one of my standard lunchtime runs in Ampfield Woods but the first part was a chance to take a look at some of the paths through the private Hursley Estate.
Pre-race preparation wasn’t ideal. We’d spent half the night up with Emma who didn’t want to be asleep (nor did she want us to sleep!). As a result, I only just dragged myself out of bed in time to have breakfast about 90 minutes before the start. It was a glorious morning though so good to be out and about.
Fellow IBMer Alasdair Hunter gave me an excellent tip to stick to the field for the first section as this was actually smoother than the grass verge. I suspect the post-race comments will have a few people complaining about their ankles but what do they expect from a multi-terrain event?
Despite not feeling 100% I soon settled in to a reasonable pace leading the second pack, with five runners out in front. I enjoyed the mixture of undulating gravel tracks and woodland paths but by three-quarters of the way round the additional effort on the uphills was taking its toll. It was at this point that I spotted an orange vest out of the corner of my eye…
Often I seem to track Noel O’Dowd around a course only to overtake him in the closing stages. It was his turn this time and he and a Southampton runner went past at around 8km. I managed to overtake them again on the downhill stretch through the woods but couldn’t keep up their pace for the final kilometre along the avenue of trees back to the school. Still – 8th place (if my counting was correct) isn’t too bad and by my watch I took 37:53 compared with the 38 minutes I estimated on the entry form.