“Oh My A Race???”
This was my first race back from Covid-19 and lock-down of all sports/social activities. I went in with an inquisitive mindset on how the ” social distancing ” would work in racing and also liked the idea of less rush at the start and fear of being knocked down
Structure of the race:
As runners we were given the choice of start time based on predicted finish so I was off at 7.04am with 5 other runners. In the first 400m we all broke away and followed the labelled signs along the Thames Path, through footpaths weaving between Reading and also the Kennet & Avon. The course was one challenging loop with many tight spots, bridges, road crossings to negotiate.
How did it go?
I felt good with the 7.00-7.15 pace for the first 20 or so miles, however beyond seeing my coach, friend Veronika at Greenpark ( 18 miles) started to find the last 11 miles a challenge. The crossing was tough on the main Reading junction over the motorway and then on and off pavements. It could have been lack of nutrition but found that the flat coke and Revvies was enough and not particularly hungry to eat. Veronika my friend had been brilliant during the race with her son JJ popping up like ” Where’s Wally” to cheer me on and provide me encouragement. Along with my coach Norm and his wife Anne this helped me massively in the latter stages of the race.
The last few miles were tough and having not run the race before was in one sense a blessing and in another thought I was approaching sooner. The last mile was uphill so I did a bit of a walk and then pushed onto the finish. I would have loved 3.45 but reality was I didn’t have it in me for the day and the anxiety at the start hadn’t helped along with the warm weather.
I was pleased with the win in 3hrs 57, and to then see my friend that missed me during the race as I had been moving too quickly and came out from a different end of the park.
This was a great base in preparation for the TP100 miler and England 100k in September should they go ahead. Very appreciative to Ultra Violet for putting on a race and becoming Covid compliant. I like this format !