Only my third race of the year, the other two had both resulted in new PBs; Surrey Half Marathon and the Cranleigh 10k. In the Surrey Half I knocked my PB down to a fraction under 92mins (1:31:59), so when I signed up to Richmond I always hoped I might be able to sneak under the 90min barrier.
Training had started slowly but I definitely picked up the pace in August, clocking up 140 miles. However I still wasn’t sure I would be able to sustain the required pace needed over the 13.1 miles (my Park Run time hasn’t improved as much as I’d hoped).
My initial plan for the race had been to start steady, then look to hopefully pick up the pace in the second half. The race started in the beautiful surroundings of Kew Gardens.
The first 2.5 miles zigzagging along the paths. Instantly my plan went out of the window as I zoomed off settling into a quick pace and in danger of beating my 5k Park Run time (not the best idea when you’ve still got another 10miles to run). As the course switched onto the Thames Path things were going ok. Miles 6-8 I began to suffer slightly, I always have a dip around here so knew it was coming. It’s just a case of battling through and trying to find a group running a similar pace and hang onto them. As the miles clicked by I rallied, but by Mile 10 felt that the 90min was going to be beyond me, I was however within my Surrey Half time, which meant a new PB was on the cards.
The course finishes in Richmond Park, with a few switchbacks across the grass. Initially entering the park I was treading water, the early pace taking its toll. Boosted by my support crew I tried to lift the pace again for a strong finish. It was not until I entered the last straight that I checked the time, 88mins. Literally throwing everything I had left I ‘sprinted’ for the line. Watch stopped at 89:42. Not only a PB, but also within the 90min barrier. Over the moon.
Strava stats for those interested:
Celebrated in the evening with a fine bottle of Sancerre.
Rest day tomorrow then start of Dopey training.