Race Report by Helen Rowe
I signed up for the 10 mile at Draycote Water because I needed a 10 mile run on my training plan. It was originally scheduled for Sunday 9th February, and quite a few Massey runners had signed up for either the 10k or the 10 mile. However, Storm Ciara had other plans, and the event was postponed to Sunday 16th February. I was relieved in one way, as I was behind with my training plan. The week did not provide an opportunity for a long run, so when Storm Dennis led to the races being postponed again, I wasn’t too upset. It gave me more time.
Saturday 22nd February, the rescheduled date, soon came around, and I had still not run any further than 5 miles since November 2019. I got to Draycote early and picked up my number. I wasn’t sure who else was running, apart from Kelvin, who I knew was doing the 10 miles, the same as me. Then I spotted Lianne McKelvie, with Martin Slevin, and Nicola and Steve Glaze. They were all doing the 10K. Kelvin and I made our way to the start line, and then we spotted Sean Emson.
Both races started at 9.45am. The 10K started on the t path, and the 10 mile on the bottom path of the dam. The wind was gusting, and it was a headwind at the start of the 10 mile. Soon all the runners had merged, as the faster 10k runners overtook the slower 10 mile runners. We made our way around the reservoir, battling the wind. Apart from the wind, the weather was reasonably good – dry and bright. It was lovely to see Emma King on my first lap. She had come out with her bike, to support us. I was fighting the demons, which were telling me to quit, so it was lovely seeing Emma cheering us on. Lots of 10k runners were running past me, including Nicola, and then Lianne and Martin. Steve must have passed me without me realising. I was suddenly aware that some of the really fast 10 milers were starting to lap me, including Sean, who gave me words of encouragement as he went past. In fact, he was so fast he was the third runner home! Fantastic running Sean.
I was very pleased to see the 5 mile marker, as it meant I was halfway. However, my legs started feeling like jelly. I needed to blank that out, and focus on getting round one more time. As I ran past the sailing club, there were people getting ready to get out on the reservoir to windsurf. There was at least one windsurfer out already. Brrr! The wind was just what they needed.
There were other runners out training. They were running in the opposite direction to us, but we exchanged pleasantries as we passed one another. I thanked each of the marshals as I passed them, and I informed them that I was the last runner. It was a very cold day for them to be standing around. At one point, I had a white car tailing me, but that left me at the final water station. I knew that it was less than a park run left at that point.
Nicola, Steve and Emma came out to “escort” me in, which was lovely. I was relieved to cross the line. Kelvin, Martin and Lianne cheered me in at the finish. It had been slow, and certainly not pretty, but it was done. And the compensation for being last was that I got 2 pairs of socks, 6 cartons of flavoured milk, 2 bottles of water, 2 packets of crisps, and 6 packets of coconut snacks!