Summer Shakespeare 10k at Long Marston Airfield
Saturday 29th July 2017 report by Kelvin Elliott
This race was the last ever Summer Shakespeare event at Long Marston Airfield before houses will be built there next year, Don’t despair the last ever run at the airfield will be in November. I have done the 10k event at the airfield on quite a few occasions and my ultimate goal was to get a sub 60 before it is shut for good. It is a flat course doing 2 laps avoiding the pot holes and seeing the sheep in the distance and battling the weather elements of the wind.
I did the half marathon in March and that was tough mentally and physically as I was coming back from illness so the challenge was to have a good run on the 10k. I had persuaded two fellow Massey’s to join me on the 10k Linda Simmonds and Helen Rowe, also we had Sophie Abbot, Jeremy Smith and Joe Reynolds, There was only one Massey who did the 4 and bit laps for the half and that was Ian Redford. Once we had got our numbers and headed to the start Sophie and Andy Wilkinson joined us at the start line after they had quickly completed Stratford parkrun. I did my usual pre-race selfie.
The weather was sunny and not much wind so it was feeling really warm but that would change later on. Once the Half Marathon guys had set off it was our turn to move to the start line. I set off following Sophie and Andy but the track seemed very sticky and it felt like it was running through treacle and that was for the first 100-200metres then the tarmac changed to more like gravel. I made good progress observing my pace on my Garmin as I was overtaking fellow runners, we turned the first corner and you could see other runners coming back the other way, so the goal and objective was to see the fellow Masseys and give them words of encouragement as I made my way. So apart from hearing heavy breathing and panting from other runners you could hear Go Massey, Go Sophie, Helen, Linda and Kelvin around the airfield.
I pushed hard as I passed the first couple of kilometres, the weather was feeling really warm in parts then when I turned a corner I had a strong head wind to negotiate which slowed me down. I kept looking out for my Massey colleagues as I was running along the course as well as hearing shots in the distance from a rifle range. Also I saw some sheep in the field. I soon got to the water station and made the mistake of taking an electrolyte drink instead of water which was quickly chucked away as it tasted horrible. I made the half way point and so I had to do one more lap. I made good progress and pushed hard battling the strong headwind in parts as I completed the last lap. As I turned towards the finish line trying to catch a runner who was slightly ahead of me I could hear Sophie and Andy cheering me home, as I finished over the line I did the customary Massey wave. It was good to get my medal from fellow Massey Nikki Carter who gave me my medal which had a Massey colour checked ribbon.
I waited with Sophie and Andy to cheer the remaining Massey runner’s home. I was happy with my time as it was my quickest 10k of 2017 so far of 61m 59s. I will have to push harder in November if I am going to get a sub 60. It is a very well organised race and the marshals were brilliant and supportive and a nice medal if you don’t mind doing laps and facing strong winds in parts.