It's half term and this means only one thing: I, Ellie Sutcliffe, am free from work for a whole week and so let the racing commence!
I decided I could fit a cheeky 10 miler in on my way home from Dorset so headed down to the coast to Weymouth to run in the golden anniversary Weymouth 10 mile race.
With the race celebrating 50 successful years since its inaugural run, the race organisers - the Egdon Heath Harriers - decided that it would be a fun idea to issue the momento golden anniversary bright yellow tee-shirt at registration and make everyone not competing as part of a team wear it for the race. The result: a sea of bright yellow making its way along the promenade!
The race started and finished at the Pavillion at the south-western end of the promenade and the first and last 2 miles were on the total flat stretch of the prom. At mile 2 we climbed up a rather nasty hill and then dropped down the other side into Osmington. We then headed back to Weymouth and tackled the same hill for the second time (albeit at about 1/2 a minute mile slower than the first time!) and repeated the loop, then headed back along the prom.
With not having raced for 7 weeks (what felt like an eternity to me!) I was totally fired up mentally for this one. Physically, however, I was getting over a kidney infection and still on antibiotics. The question 'should you even be running?' had been asked by many but I was so race-starved that I thought I'd give it a try and see how I felt on the day. It's amazing what a strong cup of pre-race coffee and adrenaline can do for you on the day!
I started out far too fast, as per usual. Why I thought I could feasibly keep up 5.20 m/m pace for 10 miles I'll never know! By the end of the 2 mile stretch on the prom all the 400 ish runners had settled into place and I could see 2 females about 20 meters in front of me, one of them being from Poole Runners and who, at 10 years my junior, had previously denied me victory at the Blandford Bridges 10k race back in June... she's fast becoming my Dorset nemesis! The other female started to pull away up the steep hill climb but I managed to keep the young Poole athlete in my sights.
The last 2 miles back on the prom were into a very strong headwind and I began to pay for my early pace and flag a little. Because the bay curves so much, the finish looks pretty close 2 miles out, but it seems to take forever to get to it! The girl who beat me in Blandford extended her lead to about a minute at this point and I remained in 3rd place in the female race and finished in a new PB time of 65.18, in 30th spot overall (out of 372 finishers). Quite chuffed with that time considering the 2 hills and the headwind. Also quite chuffed with the M and S voucher as a prize: not just any prize, an M and S prize!
Both the male and female winners set new course records. The winning male, Chinhanhu Williard of Poole Runners, ran 53.03 and the winning female, Emma Dews of Littledown Harriers, clocked 62.57. Competition was tough this year!
Off back home to Exmouth afterwards for a good night's sleep as on tomorrow's agenda is the Tavy 7 mile!
Finishing the 10 mile race on the Weymouth sea front in the special issue golden anniversary yellow tee-shirt!