Conditions: ~15 C, lightish E wind (unusual direction which for once, meant it would be behind coming back)
Course: pavement, concrete coastal embankment, and "off road".
Officially this is marketed as a "fun run" - maybe because it exists primarily to raise funds for the Wednesday Special Needs Club, which provides facilities for severely handicapped children e.g. a sensory soft play area.
Not a race to be taken lightly though. A challenging, scenic course drew some 290 runners in what looked like near ideal conditions. In this, my first 10K for 2 years, I was planning to tailgate for the first 5K, then start working after halfway and see what happened.
Off we went and the first surprise was to see the 1K marker looming up after 2 minutes! Around and ahead of me I could see a dozen heads checking their watches as we passed it and could hear mutters of "that's wrong".
I was working a bit harder than I intended, but managed to sit in just behind a pair of runners. Past the 2K marker in 6:56 - short again - I definitely wasn't running at sub 35 minute pace.
Up & over the embankment wall & onto a track leading through Meols Common. Difficult terrain - found ourselves skirting churned-up, dried out mud puddles which did nothing for rhythm. Then down onto a soil & gravel path which likewise wasn't the easiest surface to run on.
3K in 11:08 - more believable. Things have settled down now - I'm 12th, still shadowing the same pair about 5m back.
Off Meols Common, left, thru a car park & back onto the embankment. 4K in 14:46. Wind's a bit stronger here, so I try to tailgate one of the runners in front. He's not having any - weaves from one side of the path to the other - first time anyone's ever objected! Can't blame him...
Halfway in 18:27 - we turn round & run the other side of the embankment wall. It's grassy but uneven, hard & rutted - risk turning an ankle over; so no chance to look up and see the rest of the field the other side of the wall approaching halfway. I'm getting dropped by the runner in 11th - not much I can do about that.
to be continued....