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Wandering the World

Stories and tips from around the world.

Rutland 10K

Having had so few short races since 2019, I really needed to find more to do - something to keep me practicing at speed work at a time when it’s not been that fast. Rutland is a place I’ve been interested in running at before, mostly for parkrun, but wanting a fairly local 10K I felt this one would be a good choice.

Since GU36, I've not really done any speed work. I've done two parkruns, which are the closest to doing some I've gotten, but they really weren't fast ones. So having a 10K booked to encourage speedwork didn't really work.

It’s about an hour to the north shore of Rutland Water where the race start is, and arrived just after 08:00. The parking there for the race is actually included in the race entry, so everyone would be given a ticket to leave the car park when the race is over. I sat in my car for a while, and used the loos there rather than the ones in the race village.

Eventually I had a half mile warm-up, passed the area set-up for a triathlon, and managed to cut my arm so it was bleeding when I got to the start. For the first mile I was on target and the small elevation changes weren’t too bad even though there were some tight turns down hill after the car park. There’s also a small section on the grass, which was fortunately dry - this bit would be repeated at the end too as part of the out and back route. This takes you through the trees and eventually onto the dam across Rutland Water.

Now out in the sun with no shade to be found, I found it was warming up a lot quicker than was forecast. I’d done the first mile in 6:20, but was putting in too much effort for the conditions we now faced. There were other people out running along the dam towards the oncoming runners who were racing. It’s wide enough though that it doesn’t cause a problem. I suspected these were people that had turned up to do park run, not realising it was cancelled this week due to the race. There’s actually a permanent sign on the dam for parkrun at what I suspect is the turnaround point for it.

Just before I made it to 1.5 miles in I walked a bit - my breathing was so off already. I’d have expected to at least have done 5K at this pace without too much trouble, even now. It was harder work than I was expecting. I felt a little dehydrated already.

Once off of the dam the first 2 miles were now behind me, and I knew Normanton Church wouldn’t be that far away. It seemed strange to think that it must be almost a mile to it still. I walked a couple more times before reaching the water station, and then walked whilst I drank. The first of the people heading back to the south shore passed around this time so I was a good few minutes behind. It wasn’t long then until the turnaround point.

From here until the end, the runners around me stayed pretty much consistent. Myself and others around me were taking walking breaks - the second half seemed so much harder. I wished I’d had more water.

I managed to run most of the way across the dam this time, and on the other side the grassy section comes up quickly. It feels like you’re close to the finish at this point, but you’re not as it winds around a little, and then eventually you turn off the path just before where the start had been to now run across the car park. This little extra bit takes you to the finish and I ran enough to make it over the finish line in 45:07. It was an incredibly slow race for me, and finishing 56th out of 383 finishers makes it one of my worst 10Ks to date.

At the finish I got another small cup of water, and a medal, before walking back to my car to head home.

Tags: 10K race running sports

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© David G. Paul