There was a big field today for the Town Moor Memorial 10k.
After a minutes silence the 500 or so athletes and competitors set off in dry, cool weather. The route takes you twice around the Town Moor in Newcastle and there's one long stretch which is very exposed. Today, thankfully, the wind was very light and I felt good for a change during the first lap. Its a flat course and the shouts of support help.
I was using today as a speed session (honest!) before next weeks assault on the Claybank Fell Race, one of my favourite fell runs. I didn't see anyone around me that I knew and I was running without my usual technological baggage of ipods, phone or teas-made. Today I just put my head down and, knowing the route pretty well, tried to get 100% out of my legs, without going anaerobic.
David Daniels (formerly Wallsend) who ran a similar time to me in this years Edinburgh marathon eased past at 5k. He's been clocking some good times recently and I could only manage to sit on his shoulder for a couple of minutes. One of the club officials shouted that I was in the frame for the team prize , but I found it hard to believe considering I was well down the field. The second lap was just a case of grit and determination. I was on my own from 6k and although I got quite close to the lad in front, he pulled away again in the last kilometre.
Finished in 37:37 and around 40th. For some reason this course although flat enough, just doesn't produce fast times for me, having run it in 37:26 in 2004 and 38:12 in 2008; but it wasn't a bad time either and, as I finished, I told myself I couldn't have run any faster today. These things are worth reminding yourself of, just in case after a day or two you convince yourself there was more in the tank.
I did sneak a team prize, but only because the winner, Johnny Taylor (30:54) didn't have his club vest on. More a case of him losing the £10 voucher rather than me winning it. As I didn't take any snaps on the day, I'll have to leave you with a library picture instead. The Results for the Town Moor Memorial 10k are at http://www.heatonharriers.org.uk/mem10res.php (Heaton Harriers website)