Stanwick 10K Race Recap

Race Information:

  • Date: 22nd April 2019 (Always on Easter Monday)
  • Start Time: 10:30am
  • Entry: No ballot, but usually sells out as limited to 400 participants.
  • Cost: £13 with EA membership, otherwise £15.
  • Race Website: www.stanwickraces.co.uk
  • Race Mementos: Medal, but no goody bag.
  • Course: Road race, most roads are not closed, but they are quiet country lanes. There is a stretch on the A6, but this is coned off and it is dual carriageway, so most passing cars move to the outer lane. KM markers were on the course and there were water stations, providing water in cups.
  • Elevation: It is an undulating course.

  • Other information: You have to collect your bib on the morning of the race, registration opens from 8am. There is an area for bag drop. Chip is on your bib, and the results are text to you immediately after the race. I think they have allocated parking, although I have never used it as I parked in the pub car park which is 200m from the start/finish line. The minimum age for entry is 15, but they have a junior race too.

My Race:

This race is part of my run clubs club championships. I completed it last year, as I tried to enter all club championships so that I had more chances to win the club London Marathon place (It didn’t work! hehe) Last year the weather had been really wet and the course had to be modified as part of it was flooded, so it wasn’t a full 10k.

The weather this year, couldn’t have been more different. A mini heatwave had made an appearance over the Easter Break, and it was forecast to be around 22 degrees on race day.

We parked up in the pub car park around 9:15am, and headed to the village hall to pick up our numbers. Names of participants were pinned up on a wall, so you had to find your number and then go to the allocated line to collect it. The Village hall was busy with runners, but it only took about 5 minutes to collect our numbers. They provided pens for us to complete the emergency details and there were safety pins provided too.

There were toilets in the village hall, and more toilets in another building across the road. The second building provided a bag drop too, but as my car was so close, i didn’t use it.

Team Balancise 2019 – Photo credits to @andybrayford

I completed a 10 minute warm up, and I felt ok, although I have a recurring lower back pain, so I really didn’t know how this race would pan out. We had our annual club photo, and then it was almost time to start.

When other club mates talked about being nervous or doubting there ability, I did my usual and joined in. I even remember saying that I wasn’t sure I could go under an hour – why do I doubt myself so much? I started at right at the back of the race, which meant that I weaved a bit at the start and found it very frustrating when a group of walkers blocked the entire road. I don’t mind walkers at all, but i do feel they need to be a little more aware of their surroundings. I suppose it’s no different to runners that run in groups.

Team Balancise action shot
Why do I always do stupid things when a camera is around? YMCA anybody???

As soon as you get to the top of the first incline, I found that there was more space and the views were amazing. I felt really strong and very positive; a little bit too positive for one of the my club mates! Hehe

After some flat, you have have a downhill stretch followed by a sharp up hill, and then it feels like you are continually running up hill for the next 10 minutes. It’s not a steep incline, but you feel it. This incline is on the A6, so the track is pretty much single file. You can over take people, but you just have to be a little bit more aware of your surroundings for this section.

I was surprised how strong I felt during this section, as I was dreading this part, as I remembered last year really struggling here. On reflection I think I was trying to keep up with another runner last year, but this year I was running my own pace.

By 4km, I was running on my own, but I could see other club runners ahead and I was enjoying the run. Again, I started to doubt myself, worrying that i was going too fast and would blow up at the end. I saw another runner that know from another club, and I worried about passing her, what if I went past and then blew up and she passed me at the end? I decided to chance it, and she said well done as I passed and said how well I was running, but instead of saying thanks, I replied, ” I’ll probably die in a bit!” Why? What can’t I just believe that I can run.

The part of the course that was cut off due to flooding last year, was accessible this year, and it’s it wasn’t a nice addition. There were quite a few twists and turns, and as I saw the turn into the street named Hillside street, I knew what it meant. More inclines! By this section, I had caught up with another club mate. We ran a little section together, and I decided to walk through the water station at 7KM, so that I could make sure I took on water. I had read a post from The Runner Beans about adjusting your race plan to fit with the weather as you can’t control the weather but you can control your response to it.. This made me realise that walking that water station wasn’t a bad thing, it was adjusting to the heat. I had tried to run through the previous water station, and drink from the cup, and nearly drowned myself! Does anyone actually prefer water in cups at races?

I took on the water and set off again, it was the final big hill and I saw more club mates and passed them. It felt nice to still be feeling strong and passing people. A left turn heading back into Stanwick Village is downhill, and I knew that at the end of that road would be where lots of my friends, and hopefully my husband and my daughter. Even though it was downhill, it seemed to go on forever. A lady overtook me, but then slowed immediately in front of me!

I didn’t want to speed up too soon, but I also knew that I didn’t want this lady to beat me, so I picked up the pace and pulled away from her. I saw all of the supporters and goofed around as I knew there would be videos and then I knew I only had one more hill to tackle. We had run the hill numerous times in a club session recently, so I just attacked it. At the top, I passed another club mate, I assumed that he would pick up the pace, so I didn’t look back I just kept working. It was pretty much downhill for the last 400m, but I didn’t feel I had another gear, until with 150m, I felt a guy come up level with me, and I thought, no way! I sprinted to the finish line and crossed it in 57:07, and headed straight for water.

Stanwick 10K 2019 – Medal

It is no where near my PB, but I was really happy with this race, as I enjoyed it, and felt strong for most of the run.

Positives:

  • Local race, with lots of great support.
  • Cheap entry fee
  • Nice relaxed/stress free vibe about the race. Friendly and encouraging marshals.

Less Positive:

  • Congested start if you start at the back.
  • Water in plastic cups

Thank you to Andy Brayford, Tina Brayford, Ros Taylor and my husband for the photographs.

Also, I have tried a different layout to my race recaps. What do you think? What other information would you want in the stats part? I was thinking that open date for entries for future reports, but to be honest I am not sure about this one. Let me know your thoughts.

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