After last week’s Thirsk 10 (mile) I didn’t really train that well. Maybe I was being a bit complacent that I had just PB’d at a 10-mile race and the Wakefield Hospice 10K would be easy. Spoiler Alert: It wasn’t!
A hit and miss week
Against my better judgement, I went out for a recovery run on Monday after the 10 miler the previous day. I didn’t feel too bad but the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) hit me big time later in the day. Always the glutton for punishment I went out again on Tuesday but gave it a rest on Wednesday, although that was more for logistical reasons.
My hit and miss week came good on Thursday with a good 10k off-road. It was one of those runs where the weather is nice, there’s blue sky, it’s not too cold, you feel great and you could keep running all day long. I extended the planned 7k a couple of times to make it a 10k.
Friday’s 5(and a bit)k was going to be my last run before the 10k race today. This was always my plan through the week and I was sticking to it. That was until Saturday afternoon and I was restless, so off I went – just for a gentle leg loosener.
It was an off-road route I’d not put together before and all was going well until I came to a woods. Some idiots had abandoned a “camp” fire and it was still well alight and, in my opinion, spreading. The ground was really dry and whoever had done this was utterly and infuriatingly reckless. So I attempted to extinguish the flames.
Now, I was on a short run so had no water with me. I had to improvise. So, with nobody else in sight, I emptied “my tank” to put out the flames. Then I stamped out and smothered the glowing embers – oh my poor Adidas trail shoes! Damn, it was hot!
When I thought I’d got it all I took a quick loop of the woods and came back around and stamped some more.
The Wakefield Hospice 10K
I can’t say the family was overly impressed with having to get up at 6.15am so I could go and run 10k in the city we lived on the edge of for 10 years before we moved to North Yorkshire! But, as we combined the trip with checking on our house there and visiting my mum the blow was softened somewhat.
I was kindly gifted my entry to the Wakefield Hospice 10k. However, as this is a race raising vital funds for charity I have donated to them anyway.
The Wakefield Hospice 10K has 3 designated parking locations. However, as a former local, I knew plenty of on-street parking that was safe to use and only a short walk from the Thornes Park Athletic Stadium where the race finishes.
If you’ve entered online then your race number and timing chip are sent out to you in advance, and that is always handy. You could sign up on the day though, and it looked like plenty were doing that too.
The race is based at the Thornes Park Athletic Stadium and you can use the changing facilities in there. In addition, there was a plentiful supply of porta-loos.
The race doesn’t start at the stadium. You are walked about a kilometre to the start line on a side road. The starting pen was narrow and we were a bit squashed but it was manageable.
When you enter the race you give you estimate finish time and you receive coloured coded race number to that effect. What I had realised was the lady on the PA wasn’t just warming the crowd up when we arrived, she was sending the runners out to the start in order and I missed it. Luckily I managed to filter through.
As I was near the front of the pen I was watching the steady flow of runners walking past us to the back of the line. I saw my sister, who is still fairly new to running, which was new for me as that’s never happened before!
Effectively this race is a simple out and back along the A642 to Horbury. I’m not a huge fan of out and backs if I’m honest, but it was pleasant enough.
It’s not flat, it does undulate but we aren’t talking about hills here. Although the gradient up to the 5km marker caught me out a little.
The back 4km is pretty much on a gentle downward gradient so good for negative splits – if you like that sort of thing.
There’s only the 1 water station on the course and that comes after you have gone around the turning point at about 5.5km.
You receive a technical t-shirt at the end, and another bottle of water. Pretty standard for a 10k so no surprises there.
Before I summarise I have to mention the lady on the PA system at the finish line. She was loud and encouraging, but she was also calling out the numbers of all the runners crossing the line wearing earphones. Earphones are not allowed in a UKA licenses race and you will be disqualified if seen wearing them. As a race director myself, I was impressed with this. The point about safety was proven that they couldn’t hear her calling them out!
It was a good race and according to my watch, I got a PB of 44:02. However, having checked the online results I am not listed so have had to email the timers about that. I probably wouldn’t do it again, mainly due to the out and back course – they just don’t inspire me.
I am really pleased to have the PB and I know that if I keep working I can get under 44 minutes. My ultimate goal is to get under 40 minutes.
Thanks for reading.