The Goring 10k is run by the Parent Teacher Assn of a primary school in Goring, a village on the Thames in Oxfordshire, most recently famous for being 2nd home to the late George Michael. Anyway, it’s their main fundraiser for the year I think. It’s mostly a road race with a little bit, maybe 1.5km total, in fields, but on a decent, closely mown and not muddy surface. Most of the course is in rolling countryside, undulating topography, with an unwelcome hill right at the start.
This is the second year I’ve run this race, last year’s was my first race of any kind, with the possible exception of the egg-and-spoon race way back when.
Before the race:
- All race registration etc was handled on the day and proceeded smoothly, organised alphabetically.
- Race number, safety pins and chip provided in an envelope, all present and correct
- We managed to find a parking spot reasonably close so didn’t have to walk too far.
- The registration tent was in a field in the grounds of the primary school, close to the finish and a 2 minute walk from the start.
- The starting pen was graded by target time, in 10 minutes segments. I lined up in the 40 to 50 minute segment, rather optimistically expecting to beat my PB and come in under 50 minutes.
- Standard chip timing setup
- Race started bang on 11am as planned
- The first km or so is uphill which is harsh on one hand, but is at least on fresh legs. 5:08 split for first km, above the required pace but on a hill so I’ll take that.
- Next 4km were downhill or more or less flat so better time was made. I managed not to run down the hill like an 8yr old, retaining some control and dignity. 4:16, 4:45, 4:35, 4:41 splits, therefore banking some time against the sub-50 goal.
- Water available at the halfway mark, I passed, had a bottle with me.
- Next three km involved some uphill sections which were a bit of a slog after running at a decent pace the prior 5k. 5:15, 4:48, 5:35 splits, so not tragic, but notably less quick.
- I fell back on walk-run 2 or 3 times, mostly to get some puff back for the uphill segments. I was pretty confident I’d done enough to beat the goal and knew that the last km was a breeze in comparison.
- Penultimate km involved a bit of hill but quickly tipped downhill in a welcome return in the direction of the school. 5:04 split.
- Last km was fun, mostly downhill or flat, 4:26 split.
- Crossed the line at 48:45 according to my Garmin.
- It was quite windy on what is quite an exposed Chilterns location. Mostly a side wind so at least we weren’t running into it.
After the race:
- Refreshments available for runners included water, bananas, flapjacks and jelly babies. All good, all most welcome.
- I waited near the finish for #2 child who was also running in the race, having foolishly committed to running and (maybe) beating me. No chance! Still, she finished the race, was not in the last 50, not bad at all considering she did NO training whatsoever, just rocked up and ran it. I was pleased, and so was she, that she did not DNF, a real possibility given NO training at all. 15 years old. I’m not bitter!
- My chip time was later confirmed as 48:47, gun time a little longer.
That’s a pb 10k time by about 2:30 minutes [correction, actually 1:30 better, and about 3:00 faster than the same race last year], so I’m pretty happy with that. I think it bodes well for the Reading Half in 3 weeks time, at least I was able to manage race pace which was a relief after some difficulties doing intervals the last few weeks.
Overall, enjoyed it, think it will become an annual fixture.