A Step In The Right Direction
What better way to get over a marathon the previous weekend than arguably the hilliest local 10k.
Walkington 10k is one of the most established local races and therefore is always well represented by the club. This year was no different with 30 Harriers toeing the start line. For me it was a perfect Summer evening, no rain and in the low 20s.
After a long week and some big mileage the legs were feeling pretty stiff and heavy. For that reason I was hoping for a steady start but Mike Petersen and Steve Taylor put paid to that. Having both raced in the week, the latter of which twice, I expected (make that hoping) him to go off steady and I could use Steve for my pacing. However positioned just behind the fast lads (and lady – Becky Briggs of Beverley AC) they both went off like a train therefore I decided to keep them in sight but not work too hard too early. I also decided to not look at my watch during the race, just pace on feel and those around me.
At the first big downhill I picked up my cadence and passed a fair few runners including Steve (Taylor).
Anybody who has done the course before knows the big hill which starts after the first mile and really kicks in at mile 2. I made sure I took this steady as I didn’t want to expend too much energy keeping pace and fading badly in the later stages. Once it flattened out my next target was Mike (Petersen), I think it took me another few minutes to reel him in.
It was good to see Phil McCoy out supporting somewhere before the turn onto White Gap Rd. Even better to get a comment along the lines of “Good Speed”. I was feeling surprisingly strong by this stage and the aim was to keep a good rhythm and slowly wind it up.
Once the course turns onto White Gap Road it feels much more familiar to me as I’ve run and cycled down this road many a time. I had another runner in sight and further ahead first lady Becky Briggs. The first of which I caught fairly quickly and then set about catching Becky. It was hard not to admire her stride length and I look forward to seeing how she develops as a runner.
After Little Weighton I tried to pick my speed up for the last 2 miles. I had 3 more potential targets including Steve (Peacock) of Beverley AC. Once passed him I think I was the only person who didn’t want him to catch me. All the spectators disagreed, I guess that’s what you get for passing a Beverley AC runner in one of their races.
Finally we got to the right turn and the run to home. I had a good feeling I could catch the next two runners. Knowing I wasn’t going to PB but very likely inside my previous best (40:29 from 2012) on this course, on for a sub 40 and potentially make the top 25 (I was told I was in 26th before the turn onto the start/finish Road); I decided to make sure I didn’t catch them until we hit the field at the end (easing back a touch to save any remaining energy for a sprint finish). I caught them just as we turned onto the field and sat just behind until the very last bend backing myself to outsprint them to the finish. It was tight with Morgan Leskiewicz but I did manage to take another place to finish 24th in a chip time of 39:34. Very happy with that and a pace is coming back after a few dodgier races.
First person I saw after the finish was Mike Hargreaves, it was very pleasing to hear he had won the race (33:41), looking at the results it looked a good close battle with Gregan Clarkson (33:49) with third not too far behind, Phil Taylor (33:56). Becky Briggs was first lady in 40:31. Walkington 10k – full results.
Images used in the copy of this article courtesy of Dave Gowans. More images available here:
Main image courtesy of Craig Zadoroznyj Photography
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