|The finish before the start|
This was one of oddest races, perhaps funniest races that I have ever entered. I should confess, I spent £17 entering the Long Tour of Bradwell but I would have needed to get out of bed at 5am on Saturday morning to get to the start in the Peak District by 9am. Despite going to bed before ten on the Friday night I was still wide awake at 1.30am and so I turned off my alarm and resolved, with some reluctance not to do it. Perhaps predictably I fell straight to sleep as soon as my alarm was deactivated. In order to cope with the guilt of a "did not start" the first thing I did when waking (at 10am!) Saturday morning was look for an 'entry on day' race closer to home. Thankfully I found the Burton 10k. The RAC route planner suggested it would take 1hr 15mins to get there and so the plan was hatched.
I arrived shortly after 9am and registered for a 10am start. By 9.55am there was no sign of an impending race as competitors were still milling about the race stalls. It transpired the advertised time of 10am was in fact 10.30am so I had to rejig my pre race preparations and instead went for my own recee of the traders stands. The next unusual occurrence happened at the first stand. I picked up a race leaflet for the Burton 10k, advertised to start at 10am the week after (14th August). If the Burton 10k was next week, what race had I entered!? Thankfully the bloke manning the stall told me that the 'original' 10k has always been, and continues to be on the weekend closest to the 14th August but this year some other folk had turned up and decided to organise their own Burton 10k the week before. Confused? I was. I asked if there was any animosity between the rival 10k organisers to which he replied "nah not really, they've given us a free stand to promote our event and we've got a record entry next week so we're all happy"...
I finally shuffled up to the start at 10.25am. We were asked to move a few paces forward and then appeared two unknown Olympic hopefuls. The first was a female 1500m runner, the second a rookie javelin thrower who couldn't talk without moving his arms. His arm movements alternated between looking as if he was giving a verse of Shakespeare and looking like he was practising throwing the javelin. The local Councillor for the area introduced the duo and asked them to do a warm up, what followed was daft.
|Off at last|
The route wasn't great, loads of twist and turns, the first half mile along a narrow bridge over the River Trent, there were no mile or 'K' markers and a bit worryingly for the back markers, no water stations. The surface alternated between tarmac, mud track and field. The directional markers weren't the best but i didn't get lost. Having said all that I understand that this was the organisers first attempt at staging the 10K and I'm sure they will consider positive criticism, I know it isn't easy organising an event. I saw the organiser asking people at the end for feedback so he obviously cares about the race. I wouldn't say it was a bad event either I get frustrated when people talk about good and bad events, As long as you turn up, run and finish its a good event isn't it? I had a good race, there was a strong wind that tested the resilience on the way out but 'carried' me home. The route involved a little undulation but nothing to worry about. I finished 28th in 40:29. The race pack included a bottle of water, some lucozade jelly beans and a T-shirt, there were also bananas at the finish and free massages. The Burton 10k was a fun day out and don't forget it's the Burton 10K next week!