Welcome to the first Nottingham 10km ( sponsored by Asda no less) a series of races held around the UK but not, until now, visiting my splendid home town. I couldn’t resist, I like to think I’ve run the first of something and it fitted my plan to run some different races this year instead of slavishly running the same ones year in, year out.
Being local, I needed neither main stream car parks or the baggage tent so just in case Asda couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery or a race round a city centre, I knew I couldn’t be caught up in any badly organised shit storms (think Manchester!) I loved the idea of starting and finishing in our iconic market square and meeting fellow runners at the ‘left lion’……Nottingham born and bred folk, know that ritual well….I haven’t arranged to meet anyone by the left lion since I was about 15.
I was running with the Notts Women Runners, the purple army. There was sunshine, good humour and a pre race buzz in the square. There were speed pens and pacers and all flowed well. Sunday at 9.30am meant shops weren’t open and the city centre belonged to runners and supporters. Sadly sorted into our pens along a prime shopping street, made the chances of the crazy pre race warm up slim. In a sub 50 pen I was proudly not too far back for an ‘LCA’ but I had no idea who was wildly yelling warm up instructions…..I imagined a crazy blonde lady in a thong leotard, but who knows, only the first 3 rows could see her! The poor people in the back pens would have had no idea what was going on.
We marched a bit and put our hands in the air a couple of times to show willing. Note to Asda, get a raised stage next year or get us in front of the council house and her on the balcony before we go into the pens……good media opportunity too.
The pen wait was a bit lonely, there were no NWR or HPP runners with me in my zone . They dragged out old Psycho himself Stuart Pierce to start the race, clearly Nottingham needs more A list celebs or sports folk. The start was rather a funnel, no one was fast off the blocks. But the support in such a busy location was great, I even saw the hubster wave me off. Yes, I insisted he came along for once…..one race per year as a supporter isn’t too much to ask. I didn’t get the teenmonsters out of bed, I am a thoughtful mother, not a complete dragon.
I was expecting the run up to the castle ( fresh legs, so no problem) but then into ‘The Park’ and a hill so steep I never knew it existed, even all our still fresh legs found the incline tough and judging by the surround sound huffing and puffing I could hear it wasn’t just me. A purple supporter shouted me at the top of the climb, ‘curses’ I must have looked knackered!
Off we trotted following the usual half marathon route towards the river which felt very different at 3km v 10 miles when I usually reach this part of the half. I loved the house with a great ‘half way there’ banner on their garden gates as we turned for water. What a difference nice sunshine makes,not hot, but I felt I needed to grab a bottle for a couple of swigs. I normally don’t bother on a 10km. I pathetically missed the giant sized council wheelie bin as I passed to throw it away; ‘girl throw’ someone cheerily shouted behind me. ‘Whatever you big fairy’ I retorted ……no, he was actually a big fairy !!
The embankment in the sunshine was beautiful as always but support was barely there, thank you Katie and your cow bell….it’s always a welcome sound.
It all fell apart for me as we ran back to the city centre. London Road rises slightly, then the railway bridge, then a hill up to Broadmarsh shopping centre, up again on Maid Marion way. A welcome drop to M&S but then the realisation we’d have to run up the cobbled hill to Weekday Cross, on up into the Lace Market before finally the turn down back to the finish.
I was hot and knackered, I turned on a bit of a wiggle but couldn’t get back 16 seconds. I settled for 50.16, not a PB, but hot and hilly was never likely to produce one. Still I find out now I was 4th out of 119 ‘LCAs’ not that bad then!
Goodie bags were plentiful, no queues and small t-shirts still left to be had. Normally if you’re not quick, there are no small t-shirts left. I must have been fairly prompt as there was no queue to get your medal engraved for free either ….nice touch Asda. Fabulous medal by the way.
So what next? Well as we were in town which together is a rarity, it was time for a nice coffee in the sun outside Pret whilst watching finishers still coming in, then some shopping, then lunch out in lovely Thea Caffea……all in my running gear, probably smelling like a stale badger ( don’t worry, I squirted a bit of perfume on in Boots! )
Will I run it again, oh yes, I’ll be ready for the route and I hope less shocked by it. I might even train properly for it. Perhaps just my usual running regime, not having any wine the night before and two pain au chocolate for breakfast might not class as proper preparation. Can my old lady ass get round it sub 50 ??? Check my blog next year and find out!