Sunday was the third race of the 18 in 2018 challenge. This was again in the blue vest of The Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Half of the challenge is for the Children’s and the other half is for the NSPCC. I went into the race off the back of an excellent month of racing and training. Knowing the course was very twisty in places, I set myself two goals, firstly to run another sub 37 10k time. Having done that at Manchester I was confident of doing it again, my next target was to beat the time I set at Manchester (36:47), again knowing how hot it was at Manchester I was mildly confident of achieving this goal.
As I mentioned in my preview blog post, I had a slight concern that we could hit the back markers of the half marathon later in the race. Thankfully these worries were unfounded as the organisers did an excellent job of keeping the two races seperate. However I’m getting ahead of myself. We decided to set off early to park and see the half marathon set off. We found a car park that only cost a £1, which was great however, it meant we had to go all the back roads out of Hull as the way we came in was closed for the half marathon. After making the short walk into the centre, it was a quick toilet visit then a case of watching the half marathon get underway. The organisers did a swift job of swapping the starting pens over before the 10k runners started to assemble. My only grumble was the race adjudicator told me I was in the wrong pen and should be further back. I politely said don’t let my hair fool you I was in the correct pen, I also mentioned my current PB and he begrudgingly left me in peace. I made a point of smiling at him at the finish………
I ended up getting my photo taken before the race for the press, then it was count down and we were soon off. I set off and took an early lead for the first 100m before a few went past. I paid no notice as I had my own personal goals and targets. The route was fast to begin with taking us away from the city centre over the river then under the A63 and into a housing estate. I felt really good and was nice and relaxed as the watch buzzed for a 5:29 mile. Perfect I said to myself. We soon hit the two way section as we ran past Victoria Park, the crowds here were good and they were offering water. The conditions were perfect so no need for water at all. The route went through a housing estate, we had to navigate a few mini roundabouts and plenty of speed bumps. We then turned right and slightly up hill as we hit the Humber, a few sharp turns then we were running towards the deep, I was racing another lad and I stayed close to him. Every time he surged I kept with him. I wasn’t prepared to let him pull away. It meant a good second mile in 5:37.
The route then turned right and back down into the estate, a left turn and we was back on the two way section and was good to hear support from fellow runners coming the other way. As the race progressed I still felt strong the route then turned right back onto the front and towards The Deep. The turns cost me vital seconds but I used them to get my breathing under control. As we hit the Deep, we ran through bollards and it was a very tight turn round back of the building, as watch buzzed for 3 miles with a 5:43. This was my best 3rd mile in any race this year. If I can do this in an upcoming 5k I should be on PB pace. Anyway back to this race, after the 3rd mile we had to navigate over a walkway bridge, this was very tight going up and back down the other side. This section was around the marina and it was a lot of cobbles. Not good in racing flats. It made next mile hard on the legs but I continued pushing as we looped round the docklands. It was good as I could see those in front and I could still see the lead bike. The 4th mile buzzed in 5:52. Considering how tough I found this mile I was pleased with it. However, it had taken it’s toll on my legs. I knew I was now on for a decent time so I had to dig deep, a East Hull runner had caught me and I made sure he wasn’t getting away as we ran back under the A63 and towards the city centre. As I approached the 5th mile you could here the crowds begin to get louder and it shook me out of my little slumber. It was my only wobble of the race but I did record an unofficial 5 mile PB as watch buzzed for 5:57. Not my best mile but was the right side of 6 minutes. I knew I had a mile of graft to go.
I hit some half marathon runners who was just about to go out of the city again and then shortly later was joined by the front end runners. This gave me some new targets to chase and chase them all down I did, however the route here was very twisty with a short arch loop then a tight switch back before we headed towards the finish. As soon as I turned back onto the start/finish I gave it everything and could see clock still saying 35:XX so I dug deep to cross the line for 12th place overall in 35:50. My second fastest ever 10k time on the gun it also equalled my season best for last year. A massive improvement on Manchester last month going 57s faster and recording only my 3rd ever sub 36. If I can work on my last two miles I’m positive I can work on finally beating that freak 35:14 PB time later in the year. I ran on par with my 5k season best during the race, had my best 3rd mile of the year and an unofficial 5 mile as well. It shows the current training is working.
I was buzzing after the race as it was one of those race were everything just slotted into place. Plus it was excellent publicity for my challenge. I just need to translate the publicity into donations now. Remember you can donate via : https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/mohicanrunner
Massive thanks goes to my challenge supporters. A big thanks goes to Sarah and Molly who cheered me on and are a vital part of the fundraising team.