Sunday, 25 May 2014

Deepings 10k 2014 - Heat & Hot Dogs

Chris & Me
The Deepings 10K is a fast, flat, measured 10K organised by the local Rotary Club. I travelled to this race with two people from work, Chris and Blake. For Chris this would be his 4th 10K and would set him up for the Peterborough Half Marathon later in the year. Blake hoped for a PB after good recent training including the Grantham Triathlon the week before. I've been suffering with early signs of Planter Fasciitis so this race was to be a good test to see how good or band things were on the sole of my foot. The story of this year's race was heat. The sun was out, it was stickily dry and with no wind felt like we were running in an oven.   

This event can be a family affair, as we arrived the children's race had just begun. The children run a shortened version of the full 10K and the two races are perhaps an hour apart. I guess there is pressure on some parents to take on both distances. It was fun to watch the kids come home, many running gingerly only to put on an impassioned sprint across the final 100m in front of Mum and Dad. It was also disheartening to witness some of the parents post race "pep" talks including one particularly bad example of a mother that scorned her son for getting his new trainers dirty! We had our own race to prepare for and so Chris and I warmed up and Blake went for a whizz.        

Post race rewards. 
The gun fired and I left the second row of starters. A bloke with a big frame came sprinting past and I doubted he would last the distance at the same speed. He came back to me within2K. My strategy was to start steadily and build into a rhythm that I could sustain across the 10 kilometres. My method was blown apart because, at 3K I tried to pass a runner in front only for the runner to speed up when I was alongside -there was a race on! We carried on in the same racing way through to about 5K. We were cat and mouse, me overtaking only for my racing friend to come  back past a few meters further on. The effect of this daft encounter was that I was running much faster than I had anticipated or prepared for. I wasn't really fit enough for the pace but stubbornness took over. By 5K I managed a sustained increase in pace and began to pass others in front. Gradually I must have left my competitor behind and I could only now feel the pressure of having to sustain my efforts to the finish.

10K's demand a fast pace, I think its a horrible distance. You can't let your foot off the gas, its all about getting to your threshold and maintaining it. Sense cries slow down but sense on 10K's is not common. It is more popular to separate mind and body and thrash on to the finish where you can fall on the grass, catch your breath and recollect the insanity of it all.

I ran towards the finish and turned into the playing field for the last 100m. I noticed a runner in front swaying badly with jelly legs. I've seen this before, usually on marathons. The Deepings 10K in 2014 was seriously hot and the runner in front had come to grief not 100m from the finish line. I ran past confident that the runner would make it home even if he continued to stagger but things got worse. I witnessed someone with deep concern, run out of the crowd towards him. I crossed the finish line and alerted the marshal that the man behind needed first aid. Gladly, first aid had already got to the man who was by now lay out on the floor.

A bloody good sausage and a cup o' cha
I finished 27th in 40:53 not a bad time given the conditions and no doubt helped by my race within a race. My foot was characteristically sore the next morning but none worse than in the previous week. Blake PB'd in 50:02 and Chris, glad to get out of the heat romped home in 1:00:45.

A good day out was concluded with a Lincolnshire sausage bap. Billed as a 'hot dog' this, as the picture shows, is no hot dog. Lincolnshire is the home of good sausages but this isn't the first time I have seen them advertised as 'hot dogs'. A hot dog is found in a "Ye Olde Oak" tin or at a push, and I mean at a push, a "Princes" tin. It's great that this blog can set the record straight on these things!