Leigh-on-Sea 10K

Did my second ever 10K road race this morning and wanted to do better than my first 10K a couple of weeks ago on the hottest October day on record.  You can read about that event here.

This 10K was organised by Leigh-on-Sea Striders running club and had around 500 competitiors.  It was perfect conditions this morning and whilst a bit chilly, it was sunny and there was hardly any breeze.

The race started at the driving range on Two Tree Island and fished by the cockle sheds in Old Leigh.  The route was up Belton Way West, along the top on Marine Parade and back down Belton Gardens via Belton Way east.  The route then passed through Old Leigh and along the top past Chalkwell Station to Chalkwell Avenue and down to the seafront.  The route then returned to Old Leigh along the footpath between the railway and the beach and via the cobbled streets of Old Leigh.

I was better prepared mentally for this event having experienced the last one but was still a little over-awed by the company in which I was in being a novice amongst seasoned club runners.  I needn’t have worried though as I think I ran a good race and was ahead of many others by the finish.

I was also better prepared practically than last time.  Last time I drank loads before the start which I think was detrimental. I also carried a flask of water and drank much on the way round.  This time I drank less beforehand and didn’t take any water with me.  Instead I travelled light and I think this helped too – for this distance.  I didn’t take my phone either – partly as mp3 players were not allowed – and instead relied on my watch for splits and pace.

I started at the back of the field and at a slowish pace but still found I was overtaking people which concerned me a little but was at a comfortable pace.  The climb up Belton Way West was surprisingly okay and from there the route was an easy run with only one other ascent and with much of it downhill or flat.  I continued to keep a good pace and continued to overtake other runners.

I arrived at the seafront feeling good and managed a good pace along the footpath and into Old Leigh.  The 8km then 9km markers came and went and I was still passing people and feeling good.  The cobbles in Old Leigh were not too bad which left 400m or so to the finish which I managed to sprint pretty quickly. Gareth R-S was there at the finish cheering us on and I managed to fly across the line finishing in a great time for me of 56min 14secs – 4 mins faster than the Southend 10K

I did record splits although missed the 3km and 4km markers so those splits are just averages for the 3km.  My splits were

  1. 5:58
  2. 5:44
  3. 5:44
  4. 5:44
  5. 5:47
  6. 5:46
  7. 5:38
  8. 5:30
  9. 5:21
  10. 5:00

I was amazed to have done the last km in 5min.  Quite amazing.  You can see a runkeeper activity page for my run though I didn’t do it by gps – just manually entered after but does show the route accurately

It was good to have a bottle of water provided at the end and after a stretch I ambled back to the start with everyone else and collected a complementary strawberries and cream boiled sweet. Nice.  back at the start I picked up a medal and a goodie bag thanks to  Original Sports and after a brief sit down returned to the car and went home feeling pretty damn good.

My medal :)

I liked the course despite some dodgy pavements and having to wait to cross the road in Old Leigh and preferred it to the Southend 10K course.  Much better to run on a twisting course where you can’t see too far in front.

On the way back to the start I was handed a note saying that there might be a Southend marathon in April next year and that expressions of interest should be directed to their facebook page or by email to info@southendmarathon.com Needless to say I have expressed interest.

Hopefully there will be some photos soon and I’ll update the page to link to those and the results as and when they are posted.  Can’t wait to see where I came.

Still got the bug!

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