I had been a little nervous in the build-up to this race, secretly I haven't trained for it and I've not covered the distance since London Marathon last year, mainly because of the shin splints caused by said marathon and secondly because I have been far too busy working in the gym and swimming recently that I sort of forgot to train. A classic case of "don't try this at home kids!" I have to say though, I am not the only one who had under prepared for a race, as @TheIron_Bear is competing in a half marathon tomorrow, that he decided to enter on Friday! Luckily, his overall fitness will see him through as long as he doesn’t go mad and go for a PB!
Had this of been any other race then I would have dropped out due to being under prepared, but this is Regency Runners home race, the atmosphere is incredible and the route is great, a little hilly for the first 5k then as soon as your off the golf course its flat all the way. The race is so well supported by the locals in Leamington and Warwick and Spa Striders do a great job at marshalling, being runners themselves, they obviously understand the importance of positive and cheery marshals.
Another reason that I wanted to run today is that we were running to raise awareness for CRASAC which is a great charity based in Coventry who provide support and work with survivors of sexual violence and abuse. This is a great charity and I know that we all seem to give to many charities but if you have a spare couple of quid, I am sure it would be gratefully received. Have a look at the website to see the services that they provide and where your money will go. Here's the charity page if you would like to donate, and thanks, you're ace!! http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/regencyrunners
Ok, so onto the day. We met at Sarah's house whom conveniently lives opposite the start line, so this was perfect for pre-race loo stops and the like. We also had a chance to have our photograph taken before we made our way to the start line. Not all Regency Runners made it to Sarah’s house, but I think a good 60% of us who were running were in the photograph, including Tabby, who had volunteered to be our mascot for the day!:
The weather was perfect, a little chilly but I was comfortable enough in my Regency Runners t-shirt. We headed to the start line and found our positions, I was going to run with Anne, who like me has some injury issues and also like me hadn't done too much training. Anne is also by reputation a very sensible runner and good at pacing, not like me who hurtles off then wonders why I'm knackered at 4km in, so we thought we would make a good pairing.
The first mile was a little squashy, but the Regency 10km is well known for having a bottle neck at the start as you enter the golf course, so it was expected, which I guess is why they limit the run to 2000 runners. There is a hill on the golf course, which you hit the steepest part at around 2 miles in, at this point we decided to walk up the rest of the hill, as we were both getting some pain in our shins. Had Anne not spoken out, I would have kept running, and then regretted it in the afternoon, so I took the sensible approach and stopped to walk for a short time. Getting to the top of the hill is great as you know that the rest of the run is all downhill or flat, usually I love downhill, but not with shin splints!!
The rest of the run went really well, we had another couple of walking breaks to take care of our injuries and helped each other around the course, smiled for the cameras and thanked the marshals as we passed them. We had talked about the finish all the way around and how we both like to wind up and sprint to the finish, but had talked about how it probably wasn't a sensible idea seeing as though sprinting would cause our legs to be more painful! As we ran through Jephson Gardens, we saw Anne's sister and also Team Currie for the second time which seemed to speed us up a little without us realising, then Anne's physiotherapist was cheering us on as we exited the park and again we speeded up. Here the crown support was amazing, something that Leamington should be really proud of and it's great to see so many people come out to support the runners. As we turned the corner into the finishing straight, Anne just said "fuck it, lets go" and we both sprinted to the finish. I thought Anne would comfortably beat me here as she doesn't hang around but to my surprise I managed to stick with her, I think this had more to do with her injury that my ability to sprint!!
So, hooray! Another great Regency 10k! As usual all the runners waited until the last Regency Runner had finished and celebrated with Tanya’s beehive cake and chatted about the race. We also had a group photograph taken by the photographer for the local paper along with Tabby in the Bee costume, who had had a great time supporting the runners and entertaining the kids in various spots along the course. I of course was very pleased with the latest addition to the collection!
Loads of the girls got PBs today, which is great! I was 2 minutes slower than last year, but I'm not worried as I had no intention of going for time today as the pain wouldn't have been worth it, I was simply going to finish, which I did, and thanks to Anne I did it in style! The legs have been iced this afternoon and I have also been in touch with my physiotherapist Cathy so I'll be visiting her in the coming week to have another look at the shins, I am also going to get some well overdue new trainers! These can only be described like tyres in Formula 1 as having "gone off the cliff" and I am sure every time I run in them they do me more and more damage! So those are the jobs for the week.
Another job I have is to by a cycle helmet as my bike was kindly delivered today by Tracey. Oh and seeing as I am only 5 weeks out from the triathlon, I should make sure that I can still ride it!
I know that many Twitter mates are have raced today so a massive congratulations to all runners (far too many to mention! And best of luck to @TheIron_Bear in his race tomorrow evening, as is it is a route that he runs regularly I know he will do great, even if he hasn’t had time to prepare!