Knowsley Hall: Not too shabby huh?!
Having run this last year and knowing the course I was really looking forward to it. It’s a fairly up and down course at times but enjoyable none the less.
After Sunday Morning’s Mersey Tunnel 10k I really wanted to try for sub 20 minutes to test out my fitness.
7.15pm sharp the race started and off I popped – the only competitor wearing my club’s racing colours, despite there being 3 club mates there. I was however, joined by plenty of Knowsley Harriers in contrasting red and white horizontal striped vests; I can only presume this was a club championship race for them.
I completed the first km in a speedy 3:51 through winding landscape, but on a tarmac-ed path which was best of both worlds! I slowed down for the next couple of kilometres to bring my 3km split to 12:04, so still on track.
Rain had started to pour down, that fine stuff that gets you really wet y’know? (Not the purple stuff – thanks Peter Kay) This was nice and cooling, but there was to follow a 20m elevation climb in kilometre four. Not a particularly daunting prospect but given my lack of speed and hill work something I struggled with.
Due to this I had to pretty much kiss goodbye to my sub-20 hopes as I clocked the penultimate kilometre at 4:18 (dang).
I was a bit annoyed with myself at this point for going out ‘too quickly’ as I was feeling the pace… Then came along a runner who decided to over-take me, so I thought I’d use him as a pacer – he was going pretty fast and was a fairly tall bloke, so I got in right behind him and tried to get into his slipstream (don’t I sound technical… I probably wasn’t in his slipstream or anything but I’ll take anything that makes me think I can run faster).
With 300 yards to go I was setting a pace to complete what would be a quick kilometre time; was I on for my sub 20 after all? Pacer guy and I (kind of rhymes) stepped it up a notch before turning a corner to the final straight and for the last 200 yards I absolutely killed myself in the sprint finish – my watch was counting to 20 minutes; 5 seconds to go 4 seconds to go…
I crossed the finish line…
I looked down at my watch….
5 seconds quicker and I would’ve been sub 20 again!
Final Race stats
Time: 20:05 (The last kilometre, though a fast 3:43 wasn’t enough to offset kilometre four’s so arsed-ness)
A great race, nice and relaxed atmosphere with a small number of runners making quite an intimate, but competitive race.
I’m not disappointed with my time. It would have been really nice to get sub 20, but my fitness is where it’s at, and I need to get back running like I was this time last year to get anywhere near my PB’s.
I’ll be taking a rest now and give the foot/lower shin problem I’ve had for the last month a chance to recover – it, and I, needs it!