Today I drove up to Clitheroe for the Ribble Valley 10k (my last race of 2007) - I'd been told it was a good course and it was!
I got there early and warmed up well - 3.67 miles in total a bit more than I usually do but I was feeling good!
There were around a thousand in the field and I put myself not too far from the front so I could get a good start but there were still around 15-20 rows in front of me. The gun went and we were off and straight away a young lady in front almost fell in the crush but was saved by the quick thinking of the guy next to her who grabbed her hand and kept her on her feet or we'd have had a real problerm.
It was perfect weather for running and the route was over country lanes with some nice undulations (hills to you soft southerners!) I was following Mark who'd beat me at the 10k a few weeks ago but he wasn't feeling too good and thought he was starting with a cold (his brother Mike was already away and gone looking for a very fast time!).
We went through the first mile in 6:30 (with a best of 5:21) and I was feeling really good but conscious that it was too quick so began to steady a little but kept racing. During mile 2 I caught and passed Mark and kept pushing on with 6:54, then slowed a little to 3 in 7:01.
As we headed for home in the second half I picked up to 4 in 6:44 despite a few small climbs. I worked really hard to catch onto the back of the group in front on the approach to 5 but they were splitting up and I passed a couple of them with a 6:39.
I then puished on over some longer climbs and reached 6 in 6:43 before the final climb up and then sprinted for the line to beat the 42 min mark with 41:59 (very close but I really wanted a 41 time!). Here's the graph of the course ...
I felt great and I'm sure with more distance work to go with the speed that I can go quicker. At least I've set a mark for the Club's vet runners to aim at for the Club's Vets 10k Trophy. I've won it a couple of times but for last year it went to Derek and Karl who shared it with a time of 43+ and I've thrown down the gauntlet to them for this year!
Nick, Ron Hill finished well (I think he's in his late 60s now) and I managed to wish him well as he headed for his car.
I hope everyone who's raced today has also done well (I know Hever set a new PB - well done girl!)
Now if I don't get to blog before, I'd like to wish everyone a great New Year celebration and I hope 2008 far exceeds your expectations! Happy Running!
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