I’ve long been an admirer of Lancaster Three Bridges 10k.
I’d first attended in 2012 in a bid to get my fitness, and confidence, back after a disastrous outing at the Great North West Half Marathon that year. In 2013 a transport failure meant that the race was missed. In 2014 I was back and fitter than ever and had another great run on what is essentially a flat course (barring the steps at mile 3). It was also as we sat down to have lunch just after the event last year that my wife realised she was pregnant with our second child. (Something to do with smells, apparently.)
So, it was great news that this year a full team of DH Runners were heading down in a bus to take part.
When we arrived at Lancaster the Heaven’s had opened. It was absolutely chucking it down. But hey, it’s only rain and once you’re wet well you’re wet… There were a few burly blokes complaining about a little bit of rain once I’d told them to man up they complained a little quieter.
The course was the same as the first couple of times I’d done it. A lap and a bit of the track before heading out to do the rest of the course.
The plan was, with it being the Manchester Marathon a week later, to have an easy 60 minute six miler. Almost immediately I’d worked out that I’d set off too fast. My watch hadn’t worked to start off with so I ended up switching it to stopwatch so I had a general idea of how fast I was running.
Once off the track I spotted my son who shouted “Don’t get wet Daddy.” It was already a little too late for that but I assured him that I’d try not to. The poor little bugger was soaked through but seemed to be enjoying watching all the runners whizz past him. He keeps asking me when he can run so I’m trying to find him a fun run that he can take part in. He seems fairly interested so best to nurture that if that’s what he wants to do.
A mile in and I’d realised that I was going far too fast. I’d got sucked in with some faster runners and ended up running a seven minute first mile. I could easily have dropped off at this point but I scrapped all ideas of a 60 minute 10k and went for it. Miles 1 – 3 were a bit on the windy side and the trip up the steps was a bit of a slog but once past that it was all flat from there.
I was checking my watch every mile to see where I was time wise and I worked out I was definitely on for a sub fifty finish.
Mile 4 – 5 had a few downhill sections which was good for picking up the pace. The wind picked up a lot after the 5 mile marker and the last mile was a hell of a slog into the wind. There’d been a lady trading places with me since mile 1 and once I hit mile 5 I decided that I was going to put some distance into her. Once I picked up the pace I heard her loudly sigh. She’d either realised that she wasn’t going to catch me or that she was going to have to run a bit faster too.
Hitting the track was good for me. I’d been doing a lot of track sessions so I felt comfortable really hammering the pace at this point. There were eight people I could catch on the track. The first six were within 50 metres of me and I caught them all fairly sharpish. The next two were going to be a bit more difficult. I passed one with fifty metres to go and I ended up pipping the other guy right on the finish line.
No medal this time which was a shame. I did get a bit of cake though which was nice. I’m not usually a fan of gingerbread but this one was alright in the grand scheme of things. I’d have preferred a medal mind but it was all good.
My official finish time was 47:43 in position 101.
I wasn’t too far off my 10k PB of 47:17 but this was definitely a Three Bridges PB for me.
Everyone seemed to have a good outing with the steps being a major talking point, as was the lack of a medal. It was good to see everyone really pushing themselves in the finish on the track as well. All those track sessions are paying off.
The boy, meanwhile, had an amazing morning being treated to sweets and having procured, then lost, a balloon. There were a few tears on the loss of the balloon but all was well later when he ended up with a new Postman Pat toy.
A quick word of thanks goes to the volunteers of the Three Bridges 10k who stood out in the cold, wind and rain to ensure that everyone finished. You guys rock.
The hair officially gets a chop this week which leads me into The Manchester Marathon. Wish me luck…I think I’ll need it.
Donations are gratefully accepted at Just-Giving