June 23, 2013

Caerphilly 10k Race - race report!

This morning I got up at stupid o'clock so I could register for the inaugural Caerphilly 10k.  I arrived in Caerphilly at 8am and got my registration pack - since the race didn't start till 10 it was pretty empty at 8am!
The starting pen had timing posts to organize us - the first post was 30 minutes.  I stuck myself by the last post at 1 hour plus.  I estimated 1 hour 7 minutes, but I've never done a 10k before so I didn't have any real idea of what it would be like.
I decided to go for a little wander before the race started.  Caerphilly is home to the second largest castle in the UK, and one of the most photogenic castles as well!
There were bicycle machines out for us to use and I warmed up for a few minutes to get ready, by the time I got back to the start there were loads more people milling around...
This race was super exciting because I got both a race number and a timing chip!
There were also loads of people in costumes, I saw a whole karate team.  There was also a Pie from Peter's Pies Running the race, and for being a massive pie he was pretty quick!
The start of the race was awesome, all penned in and ready to go, a massive countdown, and that moment when you cross the start and your timing chip starts timing is such a rush! 

I started okay but after less than 1k I had the worst stitch I've ever had. It felt like someone was stabbing me in the side.  I thought I was going to be sick, and like I couldn't breathe.  It was, in a word, terrible.  I dropped back pretty quick but kept jogging, I couldn't quite stand upright and I hope I don't have to see any photos of me because I was probably doing a hideous hunched over loping motion.

After about 5k I started to feel a bit better, and at 7k I had picked up the pace a little and was starting to pass people as they slowed down or walked.  I was too afraid of getting another cramp to drink any water, but there were at least 3 water stations on the course that I could have stopped by.

By 7k I felt good, and I had a pretty steady pace to the end.  I even did a proper sprint finish, which  made me feel that I probably didn't put enough into the race.

I came in at 1:11:40, and was very pleased with my time!
The whole race was organized really well - in addition to a race number and medal I got a bag of goodies including a water bottle and a wrist band!  There were loads of marshalls and everyone was super friendly. There were 1,700 people racing and I came in around 1400 so I was faster than 300!

And, most importantly, I was faster than everyone who didn't race at all!

Did I mention how awesome it is that I live where there are castles?
(I'm not strangling myself, I'm showing off my medal!)

So that's the story of my first 10k!  I really liked it and would love to do another soon.   This was the first time Caerphilly has done a 10K and it was an amazingly well organized and fun event to participate in.  Looking forward to more!

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