Cabbage Patch 10 – 18 October 2009

So here we are, another year later, and its one of my favourite races – the Cabbage Patch 10 mile road race that’s held in Twickenham, just over a mile from where we live.

This is the fourth year I’ve run the race, and my history had been ‘blogged’ on the site as follows:

  • 2006 – 71:47 – 289th out of 1396
  • 2007 – 63:09 – 89th out of 1447
  • 2008 – 66:02 – 170th out of 1482

My running recently has been going well.  I’ve not been doing huge amounts  (normally about 30-35 miles per week) but I’ve had some great results recently over 5k, so now its time to get faster over longer distances, which is something I need to get better at.

I gave myself a plan to 1) not get carried away at the start, and 2) to run around 6:15 miling pace to finish in 62:30.  That would have been perfect.  If I could finish under 63 minutes I would have been very happy.

So, after a 15 minute delay to the start because of an ambulance emergency right on the start line we set off.  The weather was perfect for running – nice and cool with little/no wind.  I clocked a first mile split of 6:12 which was good.  There were many people flooding past me but I left them to it.

I ran with Darren from Ranelagh for the first three miles or so and also close by was Ali from West 4 Harriers.  He drifted ahead of me into the distance but I kept to my pace as best as possible.

I crossed the five mile mark in 31:30, which had me on for 63 minute flat.  I was happy with this as I planned to push harder towards the end.  The first five miles were steady, and then it started to get tougher and I needed to really start putting some effort in.

According to my GPS I hit 10k in 38:48, which is a 6 second PB, so I think I need to find myself a standalone 10k race sometime and push for something close to 38 minutes (preferably under).

Back to today.  Shortly after 8 miles (which I passed in 50 minutes dead) you head over Richmond Bridge and then get onto the towpath and head back towards the finish.  At this point I started my final push to the finish.  I’m pretty good at staying strong in the final stages of a race and today was no exception.  I overtook probably around 10 people in the final ten minutes – and every time you go past someone, it spurs you on to push harder.

After crossing the finishing line I checked my watch to see it saying 62:22.  Excellent.  A 38 second negative split over the distance and I’m really pleased that I paced it so well.  My splits were pretty even throughout and I showed no signs of slowing down towards the end (hence the negative split).  This was also a new personal best over the distance, beating the time of 63:09 that I set on the same course in 2007.  My finishing position was 102nd out of 1509 finishers.

Once again The Stragglers running club provided superb support all around the course, and this is one of the reasons why I love this race.

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