Escaping Scotland – Cross Border Challenge 10k

Despite the rumours I’m not dead, I just haven’t had time to post lately as I have been writing for a new website ( and doing day to day life stuff. In the interim though I have taken part in a run so the entry below is about that run and how my training for the next few runs is going:

The day had finally arrived, Sunday July 21st, and my friend Suzy and I were about to take part in the Cross Border 10k. I’d done this the year before and didn’t intend to do it this year but when Suzy had said that she’d signed up I said that I would sign up as well and run round with her. This was her first competitive run at this distance and after this she is stepping up to take part in the Great North Run ½ marathon and the Great Cumbrian Run ½ marathon.

I’d kitted myself out in my DH Runners ( gear as there were a few of us taking part in this run what with it being a local one and all.

We turned up at Kingmoor Park on the day and went to register. Once we’d done that it was time to get on the shuttle bus to Gretna. There was nearly a disaster with that as the driver decided to take the wrong road and ended up in a dead end which required some skilful reversing to get out of that situation.

We arrived at Gretna and had a 45 minute wait until the run started which revolved around several trips to the toilet and a bit of stretching. The run was well attended on what was a pretty hot day and there was a lot of sun-cream being applied (stay safe out there everyone).

We started lining up for the start and decided to manoeuvre ourselves to the middle of the pack to start off with. I was going to pace Suzy for a 70 – 80 minute finish so I’d set her a target of hitting 3 miles in about 33 minutes and take it from there.

cross border start
Once we’d set off it was a case of getting the breathing right for the first mile or so. We were looking at around 11 – 12 minute miles so I was checking my watch every mile to make sure we were still on target. Luckily, with it being a hot day, the decision had been made by the organisers to have two water bottle tables set up around the course. The first was around 2 ½ mile and we were more than ready for this one as the sun had been beating down from the moment we set off. Once she had some water in her Suzy picked up the pace a little bit. We hit mile 3 at 35 minutes and we were still doing pretty well and looked to be on for around a 75 minute finish if we kept the pace we were at.
One thing I was amazed at was the amount of run/walk competitors. I’ve never found the benefit of run/walk I’m sure it works for some people but for me once I stop running I find it difficult to get going again. We set ourselves a few goals en-route to pick some of the other runners as we went past. We always had a target in mind to keep the mind focussed and get a bit of the competitive juices flowing. Around 4 miles we started to slow down a bit, the sun was really beating down now and I think the heat had gotten to Suzy a bit. We were still doing fine though and I was more than impressed with her tenacity to finish without stopping to walk. We picked some more water up around here which picked her up a bit again and we focussed for the final push to the end. Once we’d hit mile 5 we were on around 65 minutes so we pushed it a little for a strong finish. When we turned the last corner it was one long stretch back to the finish area and then a run around the block to the finish line. When we got towards the end Suzy found this sudden burst of energy and did an amazing sprint finish. I was so chuffed for her and shouted encouragement as she raced to the end. I didn’t cross the line straight away as I wanted to hang back a little bit and encourage another friend over the line who managed to get a PB for that distance.

Bib no. 429 SUZANNE THOMPSON Rank. 423 Gun Time. 1:19:39 Chip Rank. 423 Chip Time. 1:19:02
Bib no. 78 STEVEN CLARINGBOLD Rank. 426 Gun Time. 1:20:03 Chip Rank. 424 Chip Time. 1:19:26

cross border 2013pic

It was a great day for Suzy and I was pleased that I was able to help her achieve her goal of finishing. She now has a base time for the 10k distance and I’m sure she’ll beat that time easily next time. She’s now training for the ½ marathons and everything looks to be going well. Unfortunately I won’t be able to take part in these ones with her as I’m running a ½ in Warrington on September 8th and my marathon in Chester on 6th October.
It was a good run out for all of our Carlisle parkrun community as well. Everyone had a great run out despite the heat and it was good to see a lot of people stepping up to the 10k distance.
For now, for me, the training is going well. I’m hitting my August ramp up phase where I’ll be running distances between 12 ½ and 15 miles. I’ve had a couple of niggles with my left knee and my left Achilles but a couple of days rest and a run out last week seem to have cleared them up for now. I’m still enjoying the training that is the main thing. I may, or may not, look into a run in August but for now I’m just focussing on Warrington and then Chester and a bit of a rest. Possibly fitting in a 10 miler in Portsmouth at the end of October with my cousin but I really want to see how I feel coming out of Chester before I make a decision on that one.

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