The other Leighton 10 (k)
by Jenny Rawdon
As the mummy of three children I don’t get the chance to enter many races. I’ve dabbled in a couple of half marathons over the last few years but my one and only 10k race was over 7 years ago, which oddly enough was the old style Leighton 10k. This was pre children, relatively flat and I managed 51 minutes 44 seconds.
I joined LBAC about 9 months ago along with Suzy B and ‘our’ Leanne at the recommendation of my friend Lisa Bowyer. Lisa’s ‘project’ was to get us to all enter a race together… cue the Leighton 10k, which now, much to my dismay contained the dreaded Shenley Hill.
Amy Farnfield strangely told me it was her favourite 10k course and so when Lisa suggested a recce run a few weeks earlier we all did it. Suzy B and I wanted to cry at the top of Shenley Hill and ‘our’ Leanne simply swore….a lot!
So the night before I opted for vodka and diet coke for prep and the other girls had curry. Race day arrived and I could hear the wind outside- oh dear!
We arrived nice and early and picked up our race kits which was very well organised by the Leighton Fun Runners. After a few toilets stops we made our way to the start line hoping the winds would die down a bit and I personally was secretly hoping the hills had somehow flattened. As many will know (including Andy who is trying to persuade me to do cross country), I HATE HILLS. Who doesn’t? But seriously, I sometimes find curbs too ‘up and down’ for me so I was quite nervous.
After a LBAC team photo, a motivational speech from a rather energetic Leighton Fun Runner, we were told at the end of the race we would feel ‘GLORY’. The horn was sounded and off we went.
Although I knew a sub 50 minutes time was extremely unlikely I still held out hope. The first two miles went well and I managed to stay just under 8 minute miles which was needed to be on course. Then the big climb up to mile 4 started. With the added pain of running against the wind my hatred for hills only deepened.
After a lot of ‘why am I doing this’ thoughts and the hill in front of me, my pace unfortunately but unsurprisingly slowed. At the top the hill there was small respite of a nice down hill but I knew what was coming…..Shenley Hill.
Just shy off the peak my pacer went off and I knew that my sub 50 minute hope was gone. I decided to walk for a second or two but was immediately met with the shouts of a fellow runner encouraging me. As I started up again the supporters at the top of the hill cheered me on too (thank you to whoever this was).
From here it was pretty much downhill all the way to the finish (thank god!) although the wind really wasn’t working in our favour. As I turned the corner I saw my three (adorable) children holding signs up for me cheering alongside my husband, Lisa and Amy who had already finished. I had aimed for as close to 50 minutes as possible (hopefully under) and my final chip time for 50 minutes 50 seconds. You could just say I was very precise! I managed to recover in time to watch Suzy B and ‘our’ Leanne finish a couple of minutes. Lisa’s project was complete.
All in all a very well run and friendly race. LBAC did extremely well with all club members finishing well under the 1 hour mark with many getting PBs, including Amy Farnfield who secured her first sub 45 minutes for a 10k.
In terms of positions Glen Turner did us proud and took the second overall position, followed by Billy Mead 3rd and Chris George 4th. Johanne Sharples did amazingly and was the second woman back with Amy Farnfield the 4th woman and Lisa Bowyer the 7th woman. Overall LBAC came a very impressive 2nd! Well done everyone!
For me I feel (and hope) I do have a sub 50 10k time in me but maybe with a bit more training and a much flatter course!