Another bit of midweek madness. Shorts in my bag at work, a quick change at the end of the day after some pre-race eats and a 40-minute drive to the lovely area of Greenfield for a Wednesday night race. A very enjoyable race in beautiful surroundings with a nice bit of rain to enjoy! Runners love running in the drizzle! Well, I do when I am running. Here is my report on this cracker of a night…
Firstly, this was originally a 10km race but due to the natural elements taking their toll on the course earlier in the week there was a slight adjustment to the route which made it somewhere around the 10.6km mark according to my Garmin. According to the organisers, this was ‘more race for your money’. I liked that line enough to make a mental note of it. To be fair, I was very happy with my value for money on this race! I cannot remember the price of this local run but it was somewhere around the £6 mark I think. You cannot grumble at that when you consider the fantastic organisation these smaller race evenings have. It’s worth every penny.
I had not done the Dovestone race before but I had been assured that it was a really nice run to take part in. Hey, it is set in the lovely scenic area that surrounds Dovestone reservoir and you cannot go wrong with those views. It is a lovely place to run, walk or a picnic (perhaps save the latter for a less rainy day!).
On your marks….get set…let’s get the hell outta here!
The start is tight. There were 207 runners on the night and I had been pre-warned by a few friends that a good time on this course requires a pacy start. This was due to the narrow pathways for the beginning section of the race. I took this advice and made sure I got my legs pumping well in the early stages. Looking back, I paced it about right through the early part and know exactly how to play it for any future returns to this event. Happy days!
Once I had tackled the early, slightly uphill section, there was a bit of up and down throughout the course but nothing too strenuous, especially when compared to some of my recent fell races. This was relatively leg-burn free for me! The concern for me was more the surfaces. There were many rocky areas to run over and I had my ankle in a support brace due to my peroneal tendon being a little sensitive over the last fortnight. So I was concentrating a lot on not going over on that ankle as I ran across the rocky and muddy terrain.
As you can see above, the course eventually filters off the hills and paths onto what is somewhere between a road and a not so rocky pathway. This made things a lot easier on my ankle and I could just concentrate on maintaining a good consistent pace.
As I have done in my previous 4 races, I got some poor unsuspecting passers by in a mid-race selfie. This is something that probably confuses my fellow runners on race day. I’m sure there’s a mixture of opinions on the fact that I get a video selfie each time I run as it may look like I am not taking the run all that seriously, but for me it is part of what makes me run well. Everyone has their own style on race day, their own goals and specific ways in which they tackle each event and for me, having fun is a massive ingredient in a successful race. Yes, I slow down for 3 or 4 seconds to grab hold of some poor bugger who doesn’t know what is going on and then I shove a camera in their face…but it makes me laugh, puts a smile on their faces (usually!) and it gives me a boost right when I need it! So for anyone who thinks this is madness to perform in the middle of a race, trust me, it does nothing but good things for my run!
I spent the last 3kms of this race with a couple of people pretty hot on my heels, one in particular once the last km came around, but I managed to keep my pace up enough for a good strong finish.
I did Not Consult My Garmin Once
I always have my Garmin on when I am racing. Sometimes to try and hit specific km goals, like most during our races. In recent events, especially whilst my ankle has not been 100%, I have only been wearing it so I can upload my data after the run to keep track of my overall monthly distances covered. I have been taking absolutely no notice of my average speeds or my km times and have simply been concentrating on getting myself in a good steady rhythm and running with good solid form so I do not damage my ankle any further. This has resulted in me running a little more freely. No stressing about times or hitting targets but simply enjoying the run and giving it my all. I would recommend this to everyone, especially those who are trying to break a PB every time they put on their running shoes. Take the odd race off. Sod the times! Just run. Plain and simple. No nonsense just old school running! Yes, that’s right, your body can actually function whilst not being timed. I know…it’s an amazing discovery!
When I say that I didn’t use my Garmin, I got to the finish of the race and believed I had a time of roughly 49 and a half minutes only to find out 2 days later that my official time was 2 minutes better than that at 47 minutes and 37 seconds! Boom! Have some of that action. God knows where I got that original figure from!
You can see my finishing position above. 32nd place out of 207 and a time that I am happy with. A good evening’s work, even if I do say so myself.
You can view the full Dovestone Diamond 2016 results here.
I have put together my usual race highlights package from my GoPro Session below. These include my mid-race selfie with a very smiley couple and a not so happy sausage dog that I tried to say hello to and it tried to bite me hahaha.
A big thanks!
Thank you to everyone who helped organise this event and everyone who ran the race. You are all superstars and it was a brilliant night.
Oh, and thank you to the mobile pizza oven couple who provided me with an awesome oven-baked pepperoni pizza after the race! And The Clarence pub for my delicious pint of lager!
Hopefully, see you again next year Dovestone Diamond!