"} Get a life, Get active! By Fit Lesley: December 1993

Monday, 13 December 1993

Challenge 49 - Guys 10 - 7th December 2014

On Sunday 7th December 2014 I took part in the Guys 10 which is a 10 mile road race at Guys Thatched Hamlet, near Garstang.

This was my final race of the year and also meant I had achieved my 2014 goal of running at least one race every month!

I must admit I wasn't feeling overly keen when my alarm clock went off at 7.15am.  It felt cold and I felt tired.

However, I forced myself to get up and into my running gear!  I opted my long running tights, long sleeved top and gloves for the first time this winter!  I had my usual pre-race breakfast of porridge, a banana and a coffee before setting off at around 8.15am on the 37 mile journey to the start line.

Not only was I tired and cold, but the weather was also making things worse - it was raining torrentially for the entire journey!  If  I hadn't set my "12 in 12" challenge at the beginning of the year I might actually of wussed out!  But I knew I had to do this race to complete my challenge!

The journey went smoothly despite the rain and we got parked easily in the large car park.

We arrived at the race HQ at around 9am in plenty of time to collect my race number and visit the loo!  Amazingly there was no queuing involved for either of these and we were back in the car by 9.15am trying to keep dry and warm ahead of the 10am start!

I felt daunted at the thought of running 10 miles in such cold wet and windy conditions!  My thoughts were "Why wasn't it just a 10K" .

However, someone must have been feeling sorry for me as at around 9.45am the rain finally stopped and blue skies emerged! 

With only10 minutes to go I forced myself to get out of the car and to strip off my many outer layers!  At the last possible minute I removed my coat and headed to the start!

I was amazed to see plenty of runners sporting vests and shorts despite the cold - obviously much hardier than me!

Unfortunately due to the severity of the rain there was huge puddles everywhere which I attempted to tiptoe around to keep my feet dry!

I needn't of bothered!  On getting to the start it became blindingly obvious that the start of the race was going to go directly through the biggest puddle in the entire car park!

This wasn't a chipped event so I positioned myself in the middle of the pack to give myself the best possible chance of a PB without getting flattened by the fast runners!

After the race director had done the usual safety briefing and the not so usual "Yes it's a puddle, yes your feet are going get wet ... get over it!" we were off!

Within seconds of starting I was splooshing through a puddle and immediately had wet feet!  Not the best start to a race I have ever experienced but I tried not to let it bother me!

It was a very busy race start and I struggled to keep an even pace initially but after a couple of minutes running the field opened up I felt more comfortable.

 As I already had wet feet there was little point in avoiding future puddles so I just ran through them!

The race left the car park and went straight up a fairly steep hill to the main road.  The rain thankfully stayed away but there was a fairly strong breeze that kept reminding me of it's presence! 

Although this was a fairly flat route I found it hard work and had to dig deep to push myself!  Despite this I enjoyed the course which was on quiet country roads with some nice views to savour!

I was keen to finish the year with a PB and kept my eye on my Garmin!  Not long after starting I managed to find a couple of runners who appeared to be running at my desired pace and I decided to try and stick with them to give me a focus.  I soon realised that the male runner was actually being a pacer for his female companion and I was desperate to know what her goal finish time was but thought it would be cheeky to ask!

I started with a 7:59 minute mile, followed by 8.04, 8.16, 8.22, 8.09, 8.21 minute miles and I was still on track to get a PB at this point.

There was 2 water stations at around 4 miles and 7 miles (I think) serving water in cups, which to save throwing it all down myself I stopped momentarily to drink! My pacers didn't stop so I had to speed up slightly each time to catch them back up!  I was determined that they weren't going to get away!

By mile 7 I was beginning to struggle and my pacers made a break for it!  The wind seemed to come in gusts making me feel exceptionally cold, but then the sun was also beating down so in the lulls from the wind I felt too hot! 

I completed mile 7 in a much slower 8:53 minute mile and on seeing this I made a concerted effort to catch my pacers up who I could still see in the distance. 

During mile 8 I managed to close the gap running a slightly faster 8.33 pace but I couldn't maintain this and sometime during mile 9 I totally lost sight of them!  I realised by this point that I was too slow for a PB but wanted to finish in the best possible time I could and tried to keep pushing despite my legs not cooperating with me!

I finished mile 9 in 8.45 and mile 10 in 8.52! I was pleased that my pace hadn't slowed to over 9 minute miles!

On re-entering the car park and heading to the finish line I appeared to be on my own!  I didn't have any runners ahead of me to follow and I felt slightly disorientated and wasn't really confident I was going the right way!

I was relieved to see the big finishing arch and for some strange reason I decided to skirt around the big puddle instead of ploughing though it like I did at the start!  What was the point of that when I was finished and it really didn't matter if I got wet feet again?!

I stopped my Garmin and read 1:24:30.  2 Minutes slower than my 10 mile PB but I was pleased that despite struggling in the later stages I managed to still come in under 1:25!  You can view the route here!

Once through the finished channel we were guided through to a water station and then to collect the race momentum ... CHEESE!

Slightly different to the usual race bling and T Shirt and a first for me!

It was too cold to hang around and we were soon back in the warm car heading home!  I couldn't believe how lucky I was when within minutes of us setting off the rain returned!

All in all an enjoyable race that I would recommend and will I probably enter it again next year - If I can block out the cold wind from my memory! It was a well organised event with friendly and encouraging marshalls.

Later that evening the official results came out and I was amazed that my Garmin time was spot on - 1:24:30 - its not often that happens!

You can view the official results here!