08 April 2015

Getting lost and Notts Easter 10k

'Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost'

I don't think I will ever get my sense of direction to work right here in the UK. My head is just too used to the square grid roads and neighbourhoods of the states and trying to change 40 plus years of directional training is pretty much a lost cause (pun intended).  Yes, this is a lead-up to me talking about getting lost on a run again which usually isn't a problem because I am not on that much of a time crunch about having to be somewhere...however on Monday there was.  I had won entry into the Notts Easter 10k via a Run Nottingham facebook contest and since I'm not in 10k race shape I decided to make it into a long run with the race being a tempo at the end.  Good plan, right?

It would have been if I'd recce'd the route first instead of just mapping it out on the screen! I ended up making not one, but two wrong turns so the 20 minute cushion I'd built into the time I thought I'd need to get to Wollaton Hall got eaten up by having to dig my phone out of the rucksack and waiting on the gps to find me so I could figure out where I went wrong.  I was running up to the Hall for a much needed loo stop when they were announcing 10 minutes until race start (stress from being lost and it being much warmer than usual equalled GI distress) and by the time I got all that sorted I didn't get to the start line until 4 minutes 'til go time.  No time to catch my breath, change my shoes or take in the Perpetuem I'd prepared so I knew it was not going to be a good result.

To say I bonked (check out this article about what it means to bonk) would be an understatement, the last 2 miles were pure torture and it took every bit of willpower I had to not stop and walk even though I think a walking pace might have been faster.  Needless to say the plan to run home was scrubbed.

The Good:
  • Beautiful venue, Wollaton Hall is gorgeous
  • Plenty of loos, in addition to the toilets at the Hall the race organisers provided portaloos closer to the start/finish line
  • Well marshalled
  • Free parking pass
  • Coffee mug instead of a t-shirt
  • Bananas! Actually they went a step further and had apples as well
  • Other park users meant lots of cheering
  • Every kilometre was marked and they had timing clocks on the course and at the end
  • Additional food available for purchase
  • Announced the names of the runners as they entered the finishing chute
The Bad:
  • Not chip timed
  • Other park users that were very perturbed about the race being held there and a few chose very inopportune times to cross over the course. There were more than a few near collisions
  • Getting in and out of the car park was a bit of a hassle
  • The bibs are too large! Yes, that might be a silly thing to grumble about but I hate when I have a paper bib flapping about, it's irritating and distracting plus it's a waste of paper.
  • No water stop on the course. Normally not an issue but the temps had jumped from around 7C (45F) to 16-17C and was sunny so everyone was suffering because of not being acclimatised to the warmer temps
Would I do this race again? Yes, I would! Despite the snafu with the timing near the end which they corrected within 24 hours it was very well organised and under other circumstances (which were self-inflicted) I would have quite enjoyed it. Thank you again Run Nottingham for the race entry!

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