After the Brighton Marathon in April I promised myself that this was the year I beat all my personal bests. I’ve cut back on my weekly mileage and really concentrated on speed work and tried to run as many Parkruns as possible.
I’ve had some brilliant recent results breaking my parkrun PB in Portsmouth in 17.24 (previous best of 17.29 in May 2009) and then my 5k road PB in Hyde Park (17.15) two days before the start of the Tour of MK. I was delighted with my week at the Tour finishing in 4th place just behind Jordan who had a quite stunning run in Campbell Park to push me out of 3rd place.
It was after the first stage of the Tour (11km round Tattenhoe where I finished 3rd) that I decided that now was as good a time as any to go after my 10k PB (37.37 in April 2009) and after a few minutes of research found that the Bedford Harriers 10k was due to take place 2 days after the tour had finished; perfect!
The Bedford Harriers 10k came with a reputation of being ‘flat, fast and furious’ so it sounded ideal for what I was after. I even managed to persuade my fiancé Sarah (who’s been getting more and more into running) to join me.
We got to Bedford about an hour before the race to pick up numbers and get some serious stretching done. I was still feeling the affects of the tour and Sarah had completed the last stage of the tour and then ‘Wolf Run’ a 10k sort of extreme cross country event with obstacles within 24 hours. The weather was great and we both felt pretty good on our way to the start line.
I’d done my course research and was ready to go! As we set off I felt strong and fresh settling in behind the leader who you could tell was going to win after about 50m! The first 2 kilometres passed in what felt like no time at all as I clocked 3.18 and 3.21 respectively. We then suddenly hit a sharp hill to go up and over the A421 and then down the other side. This is when I noticed quite a few runners pass me, but I wasn’t too concerned. We started a loop around a nice woodland and I passed 5k at bang on 17.15 (my fastest road 5k to date) and knew I had a very good chance of smashing my PB. Unfortunately, after my quick start I then started to find the going tougher and tougher and each kilometre was more of a struggle.
I didn’t panic and knew I had time in the bank to not only beat my PB but smash it and get under 36 minutes for the first time. The hardest part was getting to 8km and over the A421 as I knew it was flat from there to the end and I could dig in. It was a great finish with the last 700m a dead straight line and a huge clock above the finish to really add motivation. I really went for it and got over the line in 35.56 a huge PB of over 1 minute and 40 seconds!
I dashed back to the car to grab some Leighton 10 flyers and got back in time to see Sarah crossing the line in a great 57.54 beating her PB from the Milton Keynes Festival of Running, and say hi to Gail who’d had a great run of 40.59 to win the FV55 category.
All in all it was a great day and a really well organised event. Entry was only £11 in advance and we all got a really nice technical t-shirt at the end. I thoroughly recommend it for anyone who fancies a fast local 10k next year!