I love the Kirkintilloch Olympians’ races. They are small but well organised, generally feature well thought out courses, and attract top runners. The 10k is no different and this year it was hosting some sort of Scottish Championship thingy. There was a ton of club vests on show to reinforce the point! Held on a Thursday night, the race starts in a back street just off of Kirkintilloch Main Street before a couple of sharp turns takes the runners on to the canal heading toward Glasgow for a kinda out and back loop.
The course actually runs past The Stables and to Cawder Golf Course, it takes a sharp left up an equally sharp hill before the runners then embark on a slight descent back to the canal halfway between The Stables and Cawder for the final couple of kilometres.
And at this point, the sharp-eyed amongst you will have spotted the over reliance on the word sharp. Sharp work people.
Anyway, on to the race. Amongst the 250+ starters, myself, John, Skoosh, Darsk and Brian were in the field. My hopes for the race were a PB. The last three 10ks I had done showed 9.85km, 10.1km and 10.2km on the watch and I had done them all between 38:20 and 38:30.
If things went really well I’d get under 38 mins. But, I hadn’t been training for 10ks and on average my training pace has dropped this year on the previous two, though on the plus side when I had gone out hard (parkruns especially) I’d been able to hold a faster pace than before.
To do under 38 mins you need to average dead on 6:05 mins per mile; that was my target pace. If I could keep the watch at that I would be happy.
The first mile in I rattled out a 5:48, which was far too quick, and typical of getting caught up in the excitement of a race. The next mile was 6:08, nearer where I wanted to be. Now, I know the course pretty well, and knew that the hill, short though it is, at around 6k, can be an energy zapper. With this in mind, I eased off for the next two miles. I was feeling OK but was determined not to blow late on and to try and have a quick finish, as this is where I felt my chances of getting in under 38 mins lay.
6:16 for mile 4 followed a 6:14 for mile 3. This left me on 6:06 pace for the race at mile four, and by this point we were heading back to the canal for the home stretch. I picked it up a touch here and got to 6:04 for mile 5 and then 6:02 for mile 6, both miles got me pretty much back on 6:05 pace.
The boost of seeing this after 6 miles, and knowing that I had only just over 70 seconds of pain left, made me re-double my efforts for the last 0.2 miles. I finished that with an average of 5:48 pace, thus mirroring my too quick start to come in on 37:49 and a 31s PR. As well as this, the course measured almost 10k exactly according to my Garmin, which is always pleasing! The image lifted from the brilliant Strava below shows just how the race panned out in graphical format for me.
As you can imagine, I was super-delighted with this and whilst I gulped down my water I waited at the finish line for my mates to finish.
First in was Skoosh in a stunning 43:15. Less than 9 months ago he’d said ‘I hate running. It’s boring.’ At that stage he was a few stone overweight and pretty sedentary apart from golf. Now he is running 30+ miles per week and really starting to get some serious pace. Sub 7 min miles for a 10k is some going.
The trio of Brian, John & Darsk followed on in that order, but with recognition given to the fact that all three had run the Glasgow Fathers Day 10k just 5 days earlier. All three did extremely well with times of 45:22, 45:30 and 47:28 respectively. The highlight was Brian skittling people out of the way as he finished like a train, including John! He says he needs to work on his pacing, Usain Bolt would have shit his drawers if Brian had been closing on him at that pace.
Lastly, it was good to see Barrie Johnstone there, fresh off of his massive PB at the weekend race mentioned above, and also an old friend in Iain Cunningham, who’d gone on all Ironman on us!
All in all, a good night’s racing for the chaps as we build towards some bigger goals in 2015. Watch this space 😉