Deal Dinosaur 10k

It's been a funny week with temperatures hitting rarely seen 30C+ levels and staying there. I managed 2 lunch time runs in the midday sun before I broke. Even late evening the mercury has stuck stubbornly around 26C. I also missed my key run this week which was supposed to be 16 miles with 10 at marathon pace. Not a run easily slipped back into the schedule!

Oh well, let's just call it a taper for my PB attempt at this years Dinosaur 10k in Deal, Kent. I've run this twice before; 2010 (53:04) and 2011 (51:20, PB).

I was feeling good about a PB for this race after recent runs and also last months Dulwich 5k. I was aiming for around 48 minutes as I was fairly sure I could hold 8min/mile pace. However there is a bit of a hill which I knew would slow me down so it would be a case of going a bit faster than 8m/m where possible and without blowing up.

Mercifully Sunday morning arrived with a sea mist which kept the sun a bay. The wife was also running but we'd agreed we would run our races. So I wished her good luck and headed a bit further up the starting line up as I didn't want to get caught in a bottle neck behind any more relaxed runners. I was aware that I could easily lose a minute during the first mile and wanted to get to pace as soon as possible. I needed have worried as it turned out. Either I chose the right spot in the pack or everyone was bolting off a bit fast as I soon found myself thinking I better slow down or things might get messy later! So a few runners drifted past as I settled into a rhythm. With the hill approaching I didn't really want to reach it already puffing. We turned inland and ran around the back of Walmer castle onto the country lane leading up to Kingsdown. As I did so I felt the force of the cross wind which had just been pushing me. I kicked myself for not realising I had a tailwind so I could have pushed the pace a bit more as I was getting a wind boost. Something I'd no doubt get later in reverse when we came back into wind. Bugger!

The road drifted up and I tried to look for someone who looked strong to follow - I didn't want to get caught up in a general slow down but equally I didn't want to go too hard up the hill. I ran as hard as I could but kept an eye on the Garmin HR. It felt quite humid out of the wind and it was a bit of a slog up to the top but I survived and tried to make sure I got back up to pace as soon as possible over the brow. We ran through the top of Kingsdown and I went straight through the water station as I was carrying my own small bottle. Up a little rise then down a long steepish hill. I just let the hill take me, opened up my stride and bounced down being careful of the potholes. I was very surprised to find I flew past about 10 people - I couldn't understand why they weren't taking advantage of the hill and wondered if they knew something I didn't! After a little quick kink towards the golf course to get the measured distance, I spent the next half mile to the coast expecting everyone to run back past me. Hitting the coast it was time to turn into wind and rather ruthlessly I was looking to catch up a fast runner to draft behind. I found one and stuck to her like glue as it we got our heads down into wind at my 8min pace for the next mile. I can't tell if it actually helped or not, but I'm grateful to her anyway.

Soon though it was time to duck out on my own for the last mile and a half and see if I had anything left. Turns out I had, so I went. I think there was a whole pack of runners behind me judging from the lady who said "You're leading a pack, keep going!". I didn't dare look back. 200m to go and I turned it up as much as I could. There was no one reachable in front, it was all about time. And not getting overrun by the 'pack'!

As I whizzed into the finish (well, that's how it felt!) I managed a quick high five with my girls before crossing the line 48:23 - a new PB!

After collecting my medal I joined the girls back before the finish and waited for my wife, who arrive in 54m - sadly, just outside her PB. Still, only her second ever race!

2011 2013
1   08:21   07:44
2   08:23   07:56
3   08:42   08:14
4   08:00   07:08
5   08:20   08:04
6   08:05   07:45
0.2   07:16   07:38
08:16   07:48

Looking at the splits and comparing them to 2011 I can see that I was faster every mile except the sprint finish. Strange! Mile 4 includes the downhill and I didn't hold back this year and this mile has the biggest difference - 52 seconds faster.

Next 10k? Well, none planned, but I'd love see if I can to go faster. Have to find a flatter one!

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