The Brampton to Carlisle 10 mile run was set to be my last run of what ended up a pretty busy running year for me all in all. I had wanted to get a run in during December but due to work/family commitments it had become obvious to me that there was no way I could do this so this 10 miler was definitely pencilled in as the last of the year for me.
The day before the event I found myself in Newcastle doing a 5k ParkRun (http://www.parkrun.org.uk/newcastle). As part of our gearing up to setting a ParkRun up in Carlisle we thought we’d head down to Newcastle and see how it all worked. Basically Park Run is a free weekly 5k event setting off at 9am in various parks around the UK and is open to all ages and abilities (including disabled, runners with dogs and runners with baby strollers). It was a great experience in Newcastle where I posted a time of 24:46 and finished 130th, there were around 250 runners that day so it wasn’t bad all in all. So I was all geared up for Brampton the next day and it was nice to spend a night before a run at home again.
I was up pretty early on the Sunday so I could get some Weetabix and a Sausage Butty down me before I had to make my way to The Sands Centre where I would be transported by bus to William Howard School in Brampton. On arrival at William Howard I realised I was pretty early and would have about two hours of hanging around before the start of the race at 11:30. This was mainly spent wandering back and forth to the toilet due to my usual nervous bladder issues, stretching and talking to a couple of people that I knew.
At 11:25 I fired up my I-Pod and hit shuffle on my running playlist and did a few final stretches before making my way to the start line. 11:30 came and went and we were off, as has become my usual starting line ritual I scared a few of the surrounding runners when I screamed ‘It’s clobbering time’ and got the legs moving to get this run underway.
After a brief run through Brampton we hit the main road (the a689) pretty quickly and the traffic was fairly busy. There were a lot of cars weaving in and out between runners so it was a case of being extra vigilant at times but it wasn’t long before the traffic tailed off a little and the running came into focus a bit more. I mainly remember hitting a pretty steep hill very early on in the run while Eye of the Tiger was playing, usually hills are my weakness but Survivor certainly got the blood pumping round my body enough to get me to the top. I was surprised, on reaching the top, that it just tailed off to a flat rather than going downhill and it wasn’t long before it became a bit hilly again. From mile 3 I came off the A689 and round via Ruleholme and Crosby on Eden (which was a mixture of uphill and downhill) before coming back on to the A689 around mile 7. From there it was a pretty straight run back to Carlisle where it was a bit of climb from about mile 8 to more or less the end where , in the lead up to The Sands Centre, there’s a stretch of about 400m where it goes downhill.
The whole run I’d felt pretty comfortable and I’d had a goal of 1hour 30minutes for the finish. I’d estimated that during a half marathon it takes me just over 2 hours so I was determined to finish in and around 1hour 30minutes as that would show that I’d improved greatly over the last 8 months since I’d started putting the training in and taking it seriously.
I arrived at the entrance to The Sands Centre, which was also the finish line of the run, at around 12:52 according to my watch and I was pretty confident that I’d come in under 1 and ½ hours, upon checking the results the next day I was well pleased with the result:
Position – 393 Bib – 442 Name – Steven Claringbold Time – 1:23:42
I’d finished 393rd out of 541 which wasn’t too shabby considering. The thing was I’d felt really comfortable throughout and I was under no doubt that I could’ve done it in and around 1:20 if I’d pushed myself but I wasn’t entirely sure of the course so I wanted to save some in the tank in case I needed it. If I had finished around 1:20 then that would’ve placed me around 330 so that’s definitely something to aim for if I attempt this run again next year.
In the meantime I reckon I’ve got a couple more Park Runs in me before the end of the year and my status will, from 2013, change from unattached to attached as I will now be running as part of DH Runners (http://www.facebook.com/DhRunners) which will be interesting for me as being part of a group is a completely new experience for me. But hopefully with their support I’ll be competing in my first marathon in 2013.
Onwards and Upwards.