Sunday 9 September 2012

Millport 10-mile Road Race

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This was my 4th attempt at the Millport 10-miler. My first race was in 2007 when I clocked 56:25 in reasonably windy conditions, and for last year's race I staggered round in 60:56 in storm force winds, where you could hardly stand up on the far side of the island.

I had hoped for calm conditions today, but it turned out pretty breezy, with heavy rain forecast for later.

Being chased by George Taylor at the start
The race started with a hooter almost before everyone was ready, and trundled out of Millport at a fairly pedestrian pace. I was surprised after a mile or so that there were only 4 runners in front, running as 2 pairs, and vaugely thought about trying to catch runners 3 and 4, who were Steven Reid of Ayr Seaforth and Billy Richardson of Irvine AC. But I also knew that after mile 5 we would turn into the wind, and I needed to keep something for the 2nd half.

In fact I didn't need to worry about sitting in 5th place for long since Stuart MacDougall reeled me in and passed me quicker than I could latch on. I was then just waiting for Crispin Walsh to catch me as well, which happened around the 3 -mile mark, as Cris, Colin Thomas and George Taylor all caught me at once.  I tried to slot in behind Cris and Colin, to match their pace, which was faster than I was comfortable with. I knew that Crispin had run 1:14:57 at the Glasgow Half last Sunday, so this felt like race suicide trying to stick with him from Mile 3 to 4, knowing that we weren't even half way.

After Mile 4 I backed off a fraction, since I didn't have the confidence to keep battering out 5:48 miles, plus as you turn around the top of the island you are then heading back into the wind, which just gets stronger and stronger as you run down the west side of the island. From mile 8 to 9, the headwind was getting pretty strong, combined with cyclists meandering around in the middle of the road, made this a tough section.

Turning onto Millport High Street for the final 400 metres

Just before Mile 9 I was suddenly caught by James Wales of Dumbarton. It was far too windy to have heard him coming, and also too windy to attempt to drop him again. So I ran along just behind for a few hundred metres, before with about a kilometre to go I made my move. I wondered if I'd gone too soon, but knew the run in from here, and thought it would be good training to push myself hard over this distance.
Millport 10-mile Road Race - the finishing straight

Over the slight crest, and relax and stride out down to the high street. Then it's just 400 metres to the finish, where if you put in the effort, there's no chance of being caught. So the end result was 58:54 for 8th position.

Ellie, Benjamin and I then jogged back to the ferry slip and arrived back at Largs just before the heavens opened.


Crispin Walsh said...

No kidding mile 9 was hard! George Taylor and I just managed to catch the ferry before the rain started proper. That's two good runs this weekend Chris, well done.

Chris said...

Thanks Crispin. I was inspired back in August when you and Steven were doing the Friday night 10k, and Saturday morning 5k, and have tried to cram in a bit more training since then. It was good having you and Colin to chase.