By Rachael Evans
I’d entered the Stubbington 10k after 9 months of not racing, as I’d been told it was a really good course where they usually give out excellent t-shirts. I’ll let you guess which one sold it to me.It turned out to be a popular event for Team OS. Gathering at the bag drop we gained quite a crowd of OS runners; mostly in OS colours with a few other clubs among us as usual. Almost all of us had managed to dress ourselves correctly.
There are no words!
After the obligatory team photo, we set off up to the start line.
If you are woman, you wear leggings, if you are a man you wear shorts #rulesofOSR
I located Kat and Naomi who were aiming for similar times, and we pushed our way towards the middle of the pack, before realising that we could see Matt and Karen just head of us, so maybe we were near the front and we should promptly stop moving forwards. The start came as a bit of a surprise and we were off before most people had realised it was 9am, and just after we realised we hadn’t remembered to warm up. There seemed like a lot of people for the first few minutes, but it quickly spread out as we headed into the first corner.
The course is one to be recommended. I only remember one hill, and most of the race was in the countryside on country lanes. Coming in for the last few kilometres is a seafront stretch, where several groups had set up camp out of their cars to cheer us all along. Several of the OS team ended up running near to each other in pairs or small groups, and as I set off, Kat and I ran the first few kilometres together. After a while Kat gained a few hundred meters on me, and gave me someone to chase for the rest of the course.
Some people like to run (& queue for loo!) in pairs
I had been aiming for a time of 50 minutes, and had sort of worked out how fast that needed to be. Kat and I had done a very fast first km and we managed to keep this up, it was just a question of for how long! I began really hoping that everyone who described the course as ‘flat’ had been telling the truth! By the time we reached the sea I was struggling to keep up the pace, and the groups giving out jelly babies were a very welcome sight.
Coming towards the finish line I spotted Shaun, who had finished and was jogging back round the course to cheer everyone on. Rob F was spectating around 9km to cheer us in – though a bit early to be encouraging a sprint finish.
Others prefer their own company (& the voices in their head, or is that just me – MP)
The end is a bit of a blur – having knocked a few minutes off my target time it took a while before I was able to talk again! Afterwards, there were several new PB’s to be celebrated and we all headed back to Keith’s for an excellent chilli and lasagne, which felt well earned!