26 September 2010

My First Race: Loughrea 10k

Woke up this morning, first thing I checked was the weather.  It was clear outside, not even a drizzle. First good sign of the day.  I got myself prepared and drove to Loughrea to register for the race.  Got some music going to build to the adrenalin. Didn’t want to build it up to early so with a few hours to spare, I hit down to my friends who were also taking part in the race. Paul was not feeling to good, down with the flu but insisted on doing the 10k.

Paul, Brendan, Me

Half hour to the race and my last pit stop to the toilet.  The starting line had changed to further up the road due to the road being in a state.  You would think they would fix that by now, its being months but back to race. Did a short warm up and a few stretches and soon I heard the bang. Were off.  Forgot to start the stopwatch and didn’t notice till 30 to 40 seconds into the race.

Based on my training, I was expecting to come in around the hour to hour and five.  I started near the back. I was taking in all in the first kilometre, getting a feel for the race. The main thing I was watching was my pace, I didn’t want to get off the blocks to fast but didn’t want to be relaxed either. As from starting at the back, some people were in a slower pace and overtaking became hard as they were all in one line across the road.  Everything settled down after the first kilometre and I came to my first challenge, a tough hill but with fresh legs it was alright. I was in a group and going at a nice pace. A few more hills came but also came the descents.

Around the 4k, a stitch came on and I was like, it’s too early and the head began to drop.  A fellow called Philip Greally caught up along side me and even asked to tag along with me. So we were chatting along the way on random topics such as the hurling matches on that day.  He seems to be a popular man as nearly passing every spectator; they all seemed to know him. I was impressed with my time and had a habit of looking at my watch every few minutes. He told me not to focus on time and check the watch when you pass the long point (i.e. Loughrea lake entrance).

As we hit the 5k marker, water bottle station was on hand, I already had a stitch and a sup of water wasn’t going to make it worse. I threw some down the back of my neck and took the final sip 700meters down the road.

There was no serious hill left in the race and around the 8k, the stitch seemed to ease up. I was on the way to the finish, passed the long point and was delighted with my time.  I could hear people behind me but I never looked around, I always was focusing forward. I noticed a guy was slowing down in front of me and I set my eye on catching him. He was my first to overtake in nearly 6k. I had being overtaken so many times since then.

The final six hundred meters, a girl sprinted by me and she began to ease off 400meters from the finish. As we took the final corner, we noticed the finish line was pushed a hundred meters further since the start line was changed. I told Philip who was beside me for the last 6k that I was going to see if there was anything in the tank. I was only expecting a small increase but when I picked up and began to sprint to the line, I felt like a 200meter sprinter overtaking 3 before hitting the line.   I got my official time of . I was so delighted with that result.  My first race and I managed under the hour. I won’t set any targets just yet but will look to knock a few minutes off it in the next one.
Paul speeding to the finish

Brendan had already finished well ahead of me and came in on a personal best of 42mins. We were waiting for his brother Paul to come to the line.   He came around the corner side by side with another runner.  We began to cheer and the other and the other runner began to pull away but Paul dug deep and came across the line just ahead in a time of 1h8m.  
Race to the line

Well done to the lads and I would like to say thanks to the organisers for a brilliant race. I hope other races will live up to this standard and atmosphere.  If everything goes to plan, hopefully I will be back next year.

Also big thanks to Helen and Stephen who took photos for me on the day. Click here for more

Sprint to the line

1 comment:

Hellie said...

Congrats again! Well done! Pics look great, thanks for the mention!

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