|A beautiful misty morning in the Witham Valley, Grantham|
The sun shone against the mist which hovered around the Witham Valley. The scene looked so worthy of a photograph I pulled the car over, despite being late for the Nene Valley Ten Mile Race. I needn't have worried, I arrived in Bretton, Peterborough with over an hour till race start.
I was grateful for the extra time, when I arrived there were a small gaggle of other runners but no sign of the expected busy race start. We were at the car park used for the Nene Valley 10 in 2011. That was the last time I ran this race but this year the start had moved about half a mile away. I quickly relocated the car closer to the new registration area at the leisure centre and warmed up ready to race.
The sun continued to shine making perfect conditions for running. The sky was blue and there was a cool winter chill making the air crisp and clean. This 10 mile race uses paths more than roads. There are lots of underpasses and sharp turns which it make it difficult to get into a regular rhythm. The race is two laps of five miles. I doubted whether I could sustain the pace which was just under threshold for the entire ten miles but after the first lap I was still running strong and decided I owed it to myself to keep pushing hard. As usual the last three miles seemed long, the last two, longer and if it wasn't for a furious battle with a competitor I would have taken the foot of the gas in the final mile.
|Samson the cat models the race prize.|
The hard worked paid off. I finished with a PB in 1:05:19 which is 3 seconds faster than the Notts 10 the previous summer and 5 seconds faster than my previous best at the Stockport 10 in 2002 although Stockport was hilly and Nene Valley is pretty much pancake flat. Each finisher was awarded a drinks bottle. I put mine with my ever growing collection.
After the race, I along with the good folk of Grantham Running Club retired to celebrate in the pub. My only failure of the day was drinking alone downstairs for a good half hour unaware that the others were upstairs having arrived earlier.