As Easter weekend appeared upon us, another double running event weekend happened event numbers 8 & 9 of 37. As it's tapering time for Paris, two nice small distance events were required to help me tick off some more toward the total of 37 events.
I headed up to Shropshire for Easter to see the in laws, and the first thing I did prior to going was see if there was any events on over Easter. Knowing there were parkruns in Telford and Shrewsbury which would be the nearest ones, I opted for Shrewsbury as Event number 8, as I had yet to do that one out of the two. My brother in law Paul who also runs said he would do it too. We've run Telford parkrun a few times together in the past. Paul hasn't run much since the birth of his young son. 10 min mile pace was what he was currently running as so we were looking at roughly 30 min finish time for him. I was just pleased to have company.
Not knowing the course, but Paul did. We made it to the start and soon we were off on our Saturday morning run. 9am start with over 350 runners from the fast serious runners to the slower out for fun runners.
I didn't know the course route I was a little glad of being with my bro in law as he ran it once before. The course (unlike Plymvalley in Plymouth where I am a run director) is a tarmac course around the old quarry. It runs along the river Severn and has one incline and one decline. The route it self starts with a a loop which as the slight incline and decline before running along the flat tarmac along the river to a monument to which you run back the way you came. You go back up the the incline for a final loop before heading back down the flat straight to the finish.
We started off at a 9.30 min pace, which my bro in law was happy to run at and we continued to pick the pace up as we went along. He was now struggling to talk to me so I knew he was pushing it, and as we approached the finish lineI made him sprint finish. We finished in 28 mins and 30 secs so well under the 10 min mile pace he was currently running at. Obviously he was pretty happy, shattered but pretty happy.
|Me and the Bro in Law Paul
Realising that day that tomorrow's 10k was a Trail race when checking the start time, I had realised I had only brought a pair of road shoes and none of my trail shoes. I received an email also that day telling me they recommended trail shoes for the events especially as the weather hadn't been good previously. So a good excuse for me to get a new pair of trail shoes to add to my collection. I popped to the running store in Shrewsbury and got myself the latest model of trail shoe that I already use. Inov 8 Roclite 295's, really comfortable light weight trail. They're a pretty good multi terrain shoe. They do well in the mud, gravel and sand and are comfortable enough over tarmac for medium distance.
|Inov 8 Roclites 295
Event number 9 was The Chasewater Easter 10k, Staffordshire. I got to the event at 10am, having already received my timing chip and bib number there was no need for me to register in before the start. The start and finish was located by the cafe with a children's 1 mile fun run starting before hand. The race was organised by a company called "Nice Work". Going by their website they've organised a lot of events around the country over the year. They are a professional company so seeing how it was organised at the start showed, with timing chips a proper digital timing clock and a well laid out course. It wasn't a once a year club organised run. This sometimes can be good but also I sometimes prefer events for runners by runners.
Eventually it was my turn to run after the fun run had finished and they were running both 5k and 10k together. The course was a two lap course so this enabled the 5k runners to finish and the 10k runners to crack on for another lap.
We all lined up and soon enough off I went. It was quite a crowded start as to make the distance we had to do a small little loop of the start area before heading off around the lake. The course was mainly trail but it started with some tarmac and harder off road surface so I did wonder if I could of got away with road shoes. As I found out later on I was glad I had trail shoes. As there were a lot of runners still bunched together from the start as we made our way around the the first part of the lake lap we hit a couple of gates. The big main gates were still locked and closed so we had to funnel through the open pedistrian gates. This was really my only gripe with the course. It was pretty much flat occassionally rolling with one very slight incline. The second lap the gates made no difference as the 5k runners had finished and there was a far more spread out 10k runners on the second lap.
I started at nice comfortable 9 min 30 ish secs pace again I wasn't out to break my pb but out to enjoy another new event course. I did intend to have a faster second 5k and negative split it though. The lap was a very beautiful route around a lake. Passing a small train station with steam trains puffing away on my left with the lake on my right. The course got muddy in various parts which those with road shoes either took a long route around or struggle to run through. Me on the other hand just ran straight through. Being used to a parkrun at home that is far more challenging with mud, I knew exactly how to handle it.
I skipped across the mud and over took a few runners along the way. the next two miles were a little quicker then the previous and as the mixture of hard trail path and mud ended on to solid tarmac as I came round to the end of the first lap the sun started to come out from behind the clouds and I was glad to have my Sunwise sunglasses on my head.
As I said the 5k runners turned left to the finish as I continued on to the second lap. I clocked the 4th mile on my Garmin 310XT watch as bang on 9 min mile I started over taking more runners that started off faster than I did and through the mud once more. 5th mile reach and I was now 8 min 42 sec mile pace with the 6th mile clocking at 8 min 29 sec mile pace. Still very comfortable even at that pace I was pretty pleased finishing off with a sprint finish for the last .4 of a mile. I do love a good sprint finish!
Could I have gone faster? Definitely, but I was happy not to. Better not to injure myself with the bigger events coming up on the horizon for sure, plus I wouldn't have enjoyed the course as much as I did. However it was a little strange not having anyone to run with as it's been a little while since I've been to an event with out someone to keep company or keep me company.
I got a nice little Easter themed medal and a creme egg for finishing. I like the medal it was slightly different. A good little event which I would do again if I was in the area.
|The Easter Medal
I'd like to thank the continuing support from X-Bionic/X-Socks and Sunwise as I carry on my journey.
Next event is event number 10 the Paris Marathon 12th April 2015!
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