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Freethorpe 10

posted 17 Feb 2016, 09:01 by Jon Beverley   [ updated 17 Feb 2016, 09:07 ]
Report by: Leona McConnell

Freethorpe 10 Miler: 31st January 2016: 

After the Hare & Hounds high I experienced, I was encouraged to consider Freethorpe 10.  I considered it momentarily and applied in unison with Shaun and Leigh.  Shortly, afterwards I realised with some horror that it was a 10 mile race not a 10K as I first thought. In response I was told ‘ you have done 8 miles cross country you can easily do 10 on the road… no excuses.” 

After nearly two years as a Reepham Runner and 2 years of saying most weeks, I hate long distance, I would rather run a short distance and fast… there I was committed to 10 long miles. 

I had approx 4 weeks to get into some sort of shape or mindset. I decided to run a couple of 8.5 milers and overall they went ok, although I was becoming noticeably slower. 

I decided rest and less is best. 

I brought some new trainers a week before the race – against all the recommended advice. But they were replicas of trainers I had already had used before, so I added my old liners and ran 3 miles in them without any problem. 

I experimented with some energy gels; there is some much choice available it’s a mind field.    I took one with caffeine and had what could only be described as a dissociative experience, but I flew the last mile and half on an 8 mile run. I did come crashing down an hour or so later.  So, I opted for two gels on race day both without caffeine hoping the sugar hit would aid my performance. 

I went out to a party the night before, danced for hours and drank beer. All of which is not really recommended the night before a race but I was tucked up and hydrated by midnight. 

Then we were off to Freethorpe, it was a rainy day I was feeling pretty despondent about the whole event, had I trained enough? Should I wear my new trainers? What if the energy gels mess up my stomach? 

Anyway after a warm welcome by fellow Reepham Runners it was starting time. I had a minor emergency a minute before the start when my sports bra came undone – fortunately the boys were on hand to help and I decided racing with an undone sports bra was worth my modesty. 

Leigh had kindly lent me a watch to help with my pacing and ran the first ½ mile with me however I was keen for him to race properly and shooed him off. 

I surprised myself, I felt strong up to @ 8.5 miles, I had chewed 2 energy gels which had made me feel good and I am sure assisted my performance.  The route was pleasant a mix of villages, rivers and some mini hills.  Other runners were friendly and the course was well marshalled. 

I hit mile 9 and trotted along behind a couple that had just returned from New York, chatting with no obvious effort required. I was tired but determined to finish. I turned into the village at the 400-metre mark and glanced at my watch for the 500th time – I had hoped to finish in under 1 hour 25 minutes. I saw a group of green and then heard shouts of encouragement “its 124….” I tried to run faster, it took every fibre of my being to round the corner and attempt a sprint finish. I heard my name being called as I approached the finish line, which pushed me on. 

Then it was done – I had completed 10 miles, it had gone well!! Somehow I had smashed over 2 minutes of my best 10K time and had run every mile at around a steady 8:25. The sense of achievement took a while to sink it.  

It got me thinking… perhaps it does not matter what shoes you wear, what energy gels you use, how much beer you drink the night before. 

Maybe it’s more about your mindset – is it stubbornness? Or determination? 

Or it could it be being part of something, gaining encouragement and support from others. Or is it being part of a club that sense of belonging that makes the difference? 

Well done to all who completed Freethorpe 10. 

Special congratulations to Mike Ottley who came first in his age category finishing in 1 hour 22 mins. 

4201:05:37Shaun WebbReepham RunnersMV 40 to 4465701:05:34
11101:12:03Leigh NobesReepham RunnersM Senior65801:11:43
14101:14:17Andrew HawesReepham RunnersM Senior46801:14:17
17901:16:03Carl WillimottReepham RunnersMV 40 to 4427801:15:43
22801:19:05Craig FarrReepham RunnersMV 40 to 44101:18:44
24301:20:05Mike JollyReepham RunnersMV 45 to 4929201:19:44
27801:22:09Mike OttleyReepham RunnersMV 70+63901:22:03
31901:25:00Leona BroughtonReepham RunnersFV 35 to 3965901:24:40