Last Sunday, Edward and I found ourselves on the start line of the Nottingham 10K along with 3000 other runners. It was the second edition of the race – part of the Asda Foundation 10K Series – and after the brilliant event of last year, we were both looking forward to it.
We left home early as we were not sure where to let our car… Unlike last year, the race was taking place on the outskirts of the city and there was no mention of a dedicated car park in the registration email we received. We finally parked on one of the streets adjacent to the football stadium where the race village was set.
Arriving early let us plenty of time to have a snack, queue for the bathrooms and have a look around. When the time came to take our places in the corral, Edward convinced me to stand just behind the ’55 minutes’ pacer. The race kicked off promptly at 9.30 AM after a quick warm-up and a minute of silence for the victims of the Manchester attack. I had never seen a start line so quiet – it was every touching to witness everyone bowing their head in silence.
Unfortunately, I was unable to keep up with our 55-minute pacer but I still managed to run a PB with an official chip time of 1:02:36. I’m still hoping to run a sub-60 10K before the end of this year and I think I could have done it with a bit more training. I also stopped three times to use my inhaler, which is a lot. The first time – after only 3K – I felt like I had hit a wall.
I enjoyed the race but not as much as I did last year, mostly because of the slightly boring new route. Last year’s route started at the Old Market Square and took us around the city centre and along the river Trent and its historic monuments. There was lots to see and the spectators were cheerful. This year’s route was very ‘linear’ and took us from suburban residential streets to the National Watersports Centre and around the Regatta Lake. The spectators were not as enthusiastic either – though we got cheered on by a group of campers at the entrance of the country park and they were REALLY into it!
It was a pleasant race nonetheless and I might enter again next year. In the meantime, I’m slowly increasing my distance and training for an eventual half-marathon. I’m also finding myself heading to the trails more often and truly enjoying it.