Monday, 14 February 2011

Stamford St Valentines 30K

The Stamford 30k takes place annually on the weekend closest to valentines day. There are special prizes for those running as 'Valantine Pairs'. I was running solo and the 30k was a good opportunity to get a long race on my legs ahead of the London Marathon on 17th April 2011. The other races planned in preparation for 'London' are the Ashby 20, The Kyoto Half Marathon and the Belvoir Half Marathon.

The Stamford 30k is a tough undulating road race through the country lanes North of the Lincolnshire town of Stamford. I remembered running the race in 2010 in 2hrs 06 minutes and I could distinctly remember feeling good throughout, such memories are dangerous and can lead to a mental preparation that under estimates the challenge ahead.

And so it was by 15k (10ish miles) I felt tired, not exhausted but too tired as would be usual after running that distance. I knew I was in for a tough second half and decided to get my head down and push on till 25k when I would reassess how much I had left over the last 5k. By the time of the last 5k I had nothing left and was exhausted to the point of grabbing hopelessly at a jelly baby on the way through the drinks station. I hadn't experienced 'the wall' for some years but it was clear over the last 5k that I'd overcooked it and I had to stagger on back to the finish. Apparently I looked so rough on the finish line my partner refused to photograph me!

I clocked 2hrs 11 minutes, a full 5 minutes slower than the previous year despite thinking I had trained harder post Christmas. There are rules related to running and after much sole searching looking for excuses I have to concede in comparison to last year I'm a bit fatter and must train harder. On reflection the previous years result of 2hrs 06 mins was a better result than I imagined at the time I should have wallowed in it more in 2010!

The Stamford 30k is excellent training for the London Marathon. The race is well organised and finishers receive a t-shirt and goody bag including a banana and shower gel. Results are posted quickly as are the photos from the official photographer. Put it on your to do list but don't underestimate the event, Lincolnshire's largely flat but the Stamford 30k somehow undulates throughout.