Having tapered training this week, I felt quite confident as I arrived at Musselburgh for the 10k Festival race, which was my second 10k of the year. Last week I managed a tough training session of 3 x 2 miles with 3 minutes recovery @ 5:43 pace, so was aiming to break 36 minutes in the race. Conditions seemed pretty good. It was slightly warm, but not too hot, and there appeared to be very little wind. I also knew the course was flat. After chatting with quite a few fellow EAC runners (amazing club turnout) and warming up on the grass, we ambled over to the start.
The first bit of the race was on grass, before we headed out towards the promenade. It was a little windy, but I got into a nice rhythm and settled in behind Jenny. I figured that she would be running at sub 36 pace, so wanted to stick closely. The first two miles felt really good at 5:40 pace and I reached the 5km mark in 17:48 feeling strong and on target. I had briefly taken the lead from Jenny, but she took it again when I began to struggle a bit in miles 4 and 5. The various twists, turns and changing terrain really took it out of my legs. There was grass, then winding paths with large stones and the wind seemed to have picked up a bit. On the 5th mile I had dropped to 6:13 pace and Jenny seemed to have a good 25 metres on me. I was also overtaken by a Moorfoot runner.
I was beginning to feel hot and was struggling to maintain any pace. I had doubts that I would break 36 minutes today, but worked out that if I pushed in the last mile, I could still end the day with a decent time and maybe even a PB. I retook the position I had lost to the Moorfoot runner and just focused on trying to close the gap with Jenny. As we entered the grassy park for the final half mile or so, a marshal shouted out that I was in 16th place, which I was quite happy with. I wanted to keep this position so just kept pushing on even though I was hurting a lot and breathing heavily.
I completed the last mile in 5:51 and the last 0.2 miles in 61 seconds; finishing 3 seconds behind Jenny in a new PB of 36:20. I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t break 36 minutes, but still have to be happy with a new PB by 14 seconds. I was also pleased that I managed to find some speed in the last mile. Don’t know where the energy came from! Hopefully I’ll finally crack that 36 minute barrier later in the Summer at the Stirling 10k (a proper road race with none of this grass nonsense!!!)
After the race, we were greeted with homemade ice-cream and some lovely cakes. There were some excellent results from Team EAC, with Jenny winning the individual women’s race and EAC’s women getting the overall team prize. The men unfortunately just missed out to HBT by a single point, I think. Maybe we’ll get them next year!
Overall, a very well organised and challenging course over mixed terrain. Well worth the entrance fee!
Full EAC results (chip time in brackets)
3rd Kris Gauson – 32:48 (32:47)
5th Neil Calder – 33:33 (33:32)
11th Richard Meade – 35:41 (35:40)
16th James Mittra – 36:22 (36:20)
22nd Kevin Graham – 37:50 (37:43)
49th Euan Maclean – 40:19 (40:12) 10th MV
69th Brian Howie – 41:44 (41:39) 3rd MV50
73rd Scott Innes – 41:53 (41:43)
1st Jennifer Maclean – 36:19 (36:18)
2nd Katharine Brownlee – 36:48 (36:46)
10th Lyndsey Fraser – 42:05 (42:01)
12th Emma Dunnett – 43:31 (43:28)
15th Emma Laverie – 44.09 (43.59)
18th Helen Brownlee – 44:36 (44:33)
19th Oonagh Dunnett – 44:37 (44:33)
21st Hazel Smith – 46:34 (46:22)
23rd Ali Paton – 47:07 (46:57)
FV 22 Julie Innes – 57:48 (57:31)