Stratford Big 10K – 10.9.17

Race Report by Michael Hammond

I thought that I was not going to be able to do this run, as I was stage manager for a production at the Criterion Theatre,  and the set strike was on the same day.  I posted on the Massey app to see if anyone wanted my place, and three replied. After some frantic emailing, the place was not taken up, so I decided that as the race started at 9.30am and the set strike (when we take out the seating and the set crew start building for the next show) was going to start at 11.00am ,I could just fit it in !

Another incentive to doing it was having to miss the last leg of the Masseys’ handicap (the play was actually in production that night). Even without running the last race I came in sixth place which I was delighted with.

So  I eventually found the car park (after a wrong turn into a Hotel) and put my new trainers on, (on which I had placed the running chip in the laces) . .. and my Masseys’ vest with my number already pinned in place .

The start was very well organised with roped off pens for categories of where you think you should start ; (like in Park Run) 65 minutes or over was for me.

I gave a runner new to 10K the  advise I had received; run at your own pace, don’t worry about anyone else, start slow, and enjoy the experience !

I programmed my ‘map my fitness ‘ and started my Garmin watch and we were off . It was a really nice course; full of roads and straights and not too many inclines. The views from the Greenway were great and I remembered going on a Ramble with Coventry Ramblers as we past the race course and the café in an old railway carriage.  

I somehow programmed the app to tell me my pace, and a lot of the time it was telling me to speed up ! I seemed to do the first 5K in a record time which was good. 

As I ran towards the Shakespeare Theatre I thought ‘ we must be nearly there now’ but Oh dear … running through the park and round to the other side of the butterfly museum and you couldn’t see the finish ! I had started my sprint finish too early and had to walk…. when I actually saw the finish I managed to speed up and target one runner who I beat ! The girl I crossed the finish line with ”high fived’ me  as I tried to recover quickly , grab a banana and water and medal …and quickly find the car so I could make it to the Theatre in time.. I was about twenty minutes late.

My Garmin told me I ran it in 01:01:39. I await my official time .. hopefully another PB.