Sunday, 19 May 2013

Deepings 10k 2013 - A Sunny Day in the Deepings and a Pb Cliffhanger

"The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray, the sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today".

A Height Chart L-R
I've always been confused by that line. If the sun has his hat on surely we are in for a dull day. If the sun takes his hat off, his rays will shine? That's what I was thinking about during the first couple of kilometres of the Deepings 10k. The heavily armed race starter  made a brief announcement during which he identified that "the cloud had covered the sun just at the right time" which would be "ideal" for us runners who were about to set off. It was that announcement which triggered the song previously described and frustratingly set in motion a tune within my head that lasted for the rest of the 40 minutes of running that followed, I can only hope you now have the same song in your head so that you can understand my pain.
The sun did in fact shine brightly making it easier to get out of bed. An 11 am start also meant that I could leave my slumber at a sensible time. I left Grantham at 9am after picking up new club member Chris England. Chris was undertaking his second 10k after a baptism of fire at the Grantham Cup. Today would be flatter and "on road" but the lack of hills would demand a faster pace which would no doubt throw up its own challenge.

Charles Roberts 1st GRC back.
We arrived in the quaint town of Market Deeping in time to watch the start of the 3k race. Children seemed attracted to the shorter distance and I noticed Lucy Roberts of Grantham RC on the start with her son Charles. Charles went on to have a great debut race and was technically the first Grantham athlete home arriving back at the finish with as much enthusiasm as when he left. Just as the 3k finished the rest of the Grantham contingent arrived, Ben, Scott and Dave together we discussed race strategy, toilet strategy and whether we could win a team medal or whether Dave could win a solo. 

3K Race Start
The race begun at 11am just after the sun put his hat back on. I felt strong throughout the 10k but I had to work at times to keep up the fast pace. The course leaves the grassy surface of the rugby club and then uses typical Lincolnshire country roads. The roads and scenery were similar to that enjoyed at the Friskney Half Marathon earlier in the year. The sun took his hat off at various intervals and when his rays shone it was hot. The heat was tempered by a mild wind that itself might have tempered a few pb's. On a perfect day this would be a fast course.
I arrived home a few seconds over 40 minutes. I had glanced at my watch with about 2k to go and I knew sub 40 was touch and go. I put in a big effort in the that final 2k but ultimately came up short. I tried to locate the finish clock as I rounded the corner on to the grass pitch, there was about 50m to the finish. By the time I locked on to the clock it was too late, I crossed the line just seconds over 40 minutes. I would have preferred to be 39 something but I wasn't too bothered today. I  had a miserable race the previous week at Sheffield, at least today I got a bit of zip back and felt strong. 
Dave Kay finished a full minute in front of me and later explained that he prefers a more hilly route. Ben Mason was aiming for a pb after coming off a strong Milton Keynes Marathon best performance. Previously his best time was 42:16 (I think, don't quote me) and he ran home at Deepings in almost exactly the same time. Official results aren't yet published but it will be exciting to see if his official result might be a second or so under his pb, a second or so over, or perhaps exactly the same time. Scott Jones was next man home enjoying another strong run,again not long after the Milton Keynes Marathon.

Scott encourages Chris.
New to running, Chris England, pbd at his second time at the distance coming back in around 1 hour and 5 minutes. The aim now is to go sub 1 hour at the Summer Solstice Race and make sure he beats his 60 year old mother!
Did such strong performances win a team prize? There were plenty of them, 1st 2nd and 3rd team in either gender. Sadly we missed out to stronger clubs with Metheringham, Nene Valley and Yaxley taking the honours.
The Deepings 10k was a good local event. Runners were given a water bottle emblazoned with the logo of Deepings rotary club who organised the event. A post race cup of tea and a bacon sandwich were very welcome before the drive North back to Grantham.


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