Race Report – Lincoln Services Summer League 10k, Grantham, Wednesday 9th September 2015

This was a curious little event. A few days before this race, held on the afternoon of Wednesday September 9th at the Prince William of Gloucester Army Barracks in Grantham, our running club received an email from Captain Lepage of Grantham, inviting us to take part in one of the Lincoln Services races. At first I wasn’t too interested in the idea, especially as I’d planned a rare evening out the night before the race where the consumption of (a fair to large volume of) alcohol was a given.

However the day before the race I reckoned a bit of a run out over 10k would probably do my marathon training no harm, indeed it may even help it a little, having not run a great deal at pace recently. I was mindful that I was taking part in the Grunty Fen Half Marathon on the Sunday, so this wasn’t to be a full gas effort, but the plan was to put in a solid tempo effort.

Two hours before the race and I was a bit of a mess – head spinning and pounding, a little bit worse for wear, scrambling desperately for the last remaining Ibuprofen in the house. Ninety minutes before the off and I made a reluctant decision to take part in the race – at least try to run up to the barracks before deciding whether I could actually run.

Thankfully, apart from feeling very dehydrated and the heart rate thinking it was running a 5k, the warm up showed I was okay to race – the head actually grateful for the hangover busting qualities of running. Getting into the army  barracks took a little bit of effort, but I was soon in and in a totally different world to what I am accustomed too. To be honest, I wasn’t too sure what to expect not frequenting myself that often in army camps, but I soon found some familiar faces wearing Grantham Running Club colours, and before long we were introduced to Captain Lepage who offered a warm welcome to his guest runners.

He also gave hands down without a doubt the most comprehensive pre-race briefing I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. Short of telling us quite how to run and when to breath I do believe every possible eventuality was covered. That done and it was soon down to racing. A few strides and I felt ready to go.

I found it a touch amusing that having been briefed that the pre-race briefing would be at 14:15 and the race would commence at 14:30 prompt, the klaxon for the race start was actually sounded at 14:27, catching out a few runners who had used the nearby conveniences for a last minute pit stop.

Thankfully I was on the start line and from the off I was running fairly well. After the initial surge I tucked myself on the shoulder of the leader and sensed that the pace wasn’t going to be that fast. After a mile or so I took the lead briefly and tried to slow the pace, keen not to go much quicker than the 5:42 opening mile.

I was soon passed though on a brief section of multi terrain which I struggled on and slipped to third before hitting the familiar surroundings of Turnor Road, an oft traveled section of quiet road for interval sessions at the running club. I pulled in the lead two and for the most part for the next three and a half miles sat on the shoulder of the lead runner.

I was finding the pace comfortable; the heart rate though was a little too high, a legacy no doubt of too many glasses of vino tinto the night before. Miles 2-4, on Strava at least, were a model of consistency, a trio of 5:40 miles. I got the impression the three of us could go faster but had other events on our minds – the two with me were talking of racing the next day, for instance.

The fifth mile saw us tackle again the short section of multi terrain and the other two drifted a few yards ahead of me as I slowed to a 5:44 mile and they increased their pace slightly. I could have gone with them, but as a guest runner and with Sunday on my mind I didn’t feel the need or desire to push, so I let them drift 5-10 seconds ahead in the final mile, which was another 5:40.

It turned out the 10k was near enough spot on six miles, so there the race ended – third, not a bad effort. Six miles in 34:35, which is actually faster than my official six mile PB. I waited for my fellow GRC runners to come in, felt my hangover making an unwelcome return so made my farewells and jogged home. A curious race, but a strangely enjoyable one.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.