Written 5 February 2015
The MK Festival of Running 10K was my first race and nerves before it were unsurprisingly high. I really had no idea what to expect. I met my friend in the area surrounding the start and we waited together before going for a short jog to warm up. A last-minute loo visit (my friend, not me) meant we started the race pretty much at the back of the field. I’d been unable to get a GPS signal on my iPhone, so was running without any guidance on pace, etc.
The race started, in drizzly conditions, on the main Milton Keynes ‘grid’ roads, some of which had been closed. The roads are wide and offered plenty of room for everyone. I soon found myself pulling ahead of my friend and running alone. Shortly before turning off the main (closed) roads, I began to get caught by some of the front runners of the Half Marathon, which had started after the 10K. The routes soon separated, so there wasn’t any problem with one getting in the way of the other. Once off the main roads, we were running on a mixture of smaller, less busy roads (not closed) and the MK Redway – a network of wide cycle paths. It was good having a change of scenery from the dual carriageway and the support was better here.
At about 8K (5M), I remember a lady saying to me, “It’s all uphill from here.” She wasn’t wrong. The race profile shows how it climbs steeply from that point. The worst bit was a ramp onto a bridge over the road and this was the only part of the races where I almost had to walk. Almost, but not quite.
As we climbed the hill and approached the bend before the home straight, I found a bit of pace and passed a guy just in front of me. He turned toward me with a less-than-sporting look on his face and – although I may have misheard this – called me a c***. Now, I knew then that I was new to racing and open to all experiences, but I really wasn’t expecting to have the C-bomb dropped on me for that. 😯
At the end of the race, we were presented with a goody bag and medal. While waiting with my parents and her F&F for my friend to arrive, I decided I was hungry. I rummaged in the bag and took out an orange carb gel. It was orange and ginger flavour, which seemed unusual, but I ripped the top off and took a large mouthful. It tasted weird and I mentioned this to my Mum, who was stood beside me. She looked at it, smiled in a way only mothers can and said, “That may be because it’s body wash.” Talk about being a race noob!! 😳
I finished the race in just over an hour. I hadn’t gone in with a target, so was pretty pleased with this and it gave me something to aim at for the next time.
On the way home, I noticed my nipples were sore. To be honest, they’d probably been sore for a while, but it only began to register when everything else had stopped. I looked down at my shirt and noticed two bright red marks, where my nipples had been bleeding for some while. That was going to sting in the shower [it did].
As a first experience of a race, the MK Festival of Running 10K was really enjoyable. Support was good, road closures were well organised, the medal was nice and the goodies were generous (if poorly labelled 😉 ).
Gun position 419/494, time 1:07:46; chip position 414/494, time 1:07:01.