In November 2014 I ran this race with a group of us from Bognor parkrun and really enjoyed the race saying that I’d do it again one day. Well, that day was today - eight years later! Sharon really fancied doing a 10 miler as she’s not run one in years and I was keen to do a race as I normally only run one or two races each year.
For the past few years during November we’ve been taking part in a running challenge to run every day during the month. The rules are fairly relaxed and I’m aiming for at least 20 minutes running each day. This may not seem much but I don’t run a great deal at present (15-20 miles a week tops) but I am cycling a lot (on Zwift, but I’ll leave that for another post sometime).
After an extremely dry summer the weather gods has been giving us plenty of wind and rain as we head into autumn. I’ve had a few great windsurfing sessions lately in the strong winds but it hasn’t been ideal for running. The weather this weekend has been pretty miserable - wet and windy - and it was set to continue for race day.
There was a good group of us from Bognor Regis Tone Zone Runners entered for the event (back in 2014 we weren’t yet members of our local running club) and it’s always good to put on your club vest. We got a lift to the event with good friends Kirstee and Allen and drove through some terrible rain to the car park area near the start. We then got soaked during the 10 minute walk to the actual race HQ.
Moments before the start
Just before the race started the rain seemed to stop. To be fair I don’t think there was any water left in the clouds as it was all on the road! The race has about three miles of trail/path and the rest on road. The trail section (from about 2-5 miles) would be very wet indeed underfoot.
My running is going pretty well as of late and I wanted to take this as a good solid effort but not a max effort race - I’m not in shape for that and I’ve been having little aches and pains over recent weeks. I set myself a plan to try and run seven minute miles which should get me to the finish in 1 hour 10 minutes.
Well, the run was fairly uneventful. I set of sensibly, tried to keep my pace and just got on with it. The only thing in the way was the puddles - and there were lots of them. After avoiding a few in the first mile we then got to the point where there was no avoiding and you were going to get soaking wet feet. And that continued. When we headed onto the trail section of the run it got worse and worse - the puddles were huge and you just had to get on with it.
After five miles we were back on the road which was a relief but the puddles were still there - just not quite as many of them. We were then a bit more exposed to the wind - which was pretty breezy down by the sea-front.
I put one foot in front of the other and pushed on to the finish - I’d kept my mile pace according to my GPS watch pretty close to seven minutes each mile and as I turned to the finish I had to pick up my pace a little as it looked a bit further away than I thought! I crossed the line in a time of 1:09:43. Bang on target. I was very happy with that. I was 130th out of 555 finishers. This is my best time since October 2011 - that’ll do nicely.
Sharon went for a run/walk strategy which did her well during her virtual London Marathon a couple of years ago and crossed the line in 1:51:42 - which was well under her original estimate of around two hours.
Thee event seemed very well organised and is great value for money. We will come back and do it again - hopefully not leaving it eight years like I did this time.
Sharon at the finish