FITNESS// Race Recap: UKFast Salford 10K 03.09.17

On the day where my friends were cycling the Manchester 100 miles from Wythenshawe to Cheshire and back, I decided to take on the UKFast Salford 10k.

My friend Jacqui had asked me to do the 100 mile cycle with her but for medical reasons I’ve been on a cycling ban so I couldn’t put in the training that would have been required for such a huge event! Initially I was gutted, but after hearing about their hard slog of over 8 hours I’m actually quite glad I couldn’t do it!!

Instead I was going to go out with our friends, one of which was home from Australia so there was food and wine aplenty. Then gin, and prosecco…and after around 8 drinks I got home and to my bed and thought it would be a great idea to set my alarm for the 10k race which was being held only 1 mile from my house!

I’m not sure if it was complete determination, powerful inspiration from knowing what Jacqui was about to take on, or just total bonkers!

I actually woke early, without a headache. Bonus. I could have easily turned over for a Sunday lie in; after all, no one was expecting me to race; but I got up, ate porridge and threw on my running gear.

I’ve done the City of Salford 10k before, back in 2014 when it was sponsored by Club La Santa, I was at my peak running fitness (pre knee injury/surgery) and my finisher time was 01:09:36.

Then the knee thing happened, and well, I haven’t completed a 10k race since.

The Salford 10k has changed it’s name and sponsor since then, but the route is still very much the same (just a few tweaks). It’s well known as a flat and fast course, perfect for first timers and those chasing a new personal best.

2017 start line

The main reason I decided to do it, was to prove to myself that I could. I’ve agreed to do the Manchester Half Marathon next month yet I was struggling to run more than 6k without cramping up in my left calf. A race situation is so different to a daily run though, and I figured that the atmosphere would carry me along. That and there’s no way I would stop and dent my pride!

I arrived at the Race HQ just after 9 am, there was no queue to register on the day so after getting my race number I went down to the cafe for a water and some homemade vegan energy balls made with Cacao and Orange.

After a quick loo stop I went for a short jog to begin my warm up and did some stretching. The official warm up took place at 10 am so I did that too. The race was due to start at 10.15 am but due to a delay in getting the health and safety ‘go-ahead’ it didn’t actually start until around 10.35. Which was a bit frustrating as it was difficult to stay warm for that long.

That said, I was underway around 4 minutes after the gun time due to being towards the back of a 3500 strong field of runners at the start.

My intention was never to try and achieve a PB, I was wondering if I even had 10k in my legs so there was no chance I would put a time pressure on myself too. I took it steady all the way around. The route it quite industrial and so in many places there are no supporters and not much to look at.

I clocked my watch at the 5k mark which showed just over 33 minutes. I felt fine with that, and although I’ve been chasing that elusive sub 60 10k, I didn’t let myself get carried away. Instead I tried to maintain my pace. (I’ve only ever done 1 sub 60 10k and that was a training run!)

In reality I’d actually slowed around the 5 and 6 km marks but with my mind set on negative splits in the end it leveled out. I finished in 01:06:12. I’m happy with that, and I’ve got another shiny new medal to add to the collection.

 

Well it wasn’t a PB but it was the first 10k I’ve done in a while and I enjoyed it ♡

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I finished the race and asked a stranger to take a photo of me as I was on my own. I think she felt a bit sorry for me but actually I found the whole thing quite liberating. I had no pressure of running with or against anyone and no pressure of anyone waiting for me or expecting me at a certain time. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when my friends and family come to support me, but with this race being within walking distance at home I really enjoyed just ‘popping out for run’ and achieving something all on my own.

The race cost £26 and in the finishers bag was a UKFast drinks bottle, a bottle of water, a mini Soreen malt loaf, a printed technical t-shirt and a medal.

My 2017 finishers medal

Have you ever traveled to a race alone? What’s the best thing you’ve found in a finishers bag?

5 Replies to “FITNESS// Race Recap: UKFast Salford 10K 03.09.17

  1. Well done, you got some amazing times and definitely proved yourself!! I did the Manchester 5k Colour Run last year and got a stitch after 2 minutes so I know how hard it must have been. Good luck for the next one!

  2. I take my hat off to you, you’re such an inspiration, especially after your surgery. Well done on your race time, it’d take me a day to do that 🙂

  3. I’ve done my last couple of races alone (and have a half that I’m undertaking alone too) due to timing and no one being able to come support me haha. It’s weird, but it’s not too bad. Worst thing is not having anyone to hold your bag! Well done on the race and time, this is one I’ve always wanted to do but always seems to clash with my local 10k!

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