Sunday 1st November 2015
Every year a group of Preston harriers take part in the Derwentwater 10 and every year express what a great event this is. Keswick holds a lot of happy memories for me and I love spending time around Derwentwater. I also spent time there training for my first ever marathon….2 1/2 laps of the lake I did. So this year I decided to join them and what a race!
The day set out to be glorious, the sun was shining and the lake was glistening and dare I say it was perhaps even a little hot!! We all met up at registration telling stories of previous races, talking about the route and stirring up some nerves. With 15 minutes until the start we all made the walk in to the centre of Keswick getting some interesting looks from people in cafes having their breakfasts and having the odd photo taken by Kong adventures….a climbing wall and shop in Keswick who sponsored the event alongside Cotswolds and Real Mountain Fuel.
We were all summoned to the start for a quick briefing and then we walked en mass to the official start which was done to eliminate a sharp corner which in previous years had apparently caused a few problems, then, we were off!
Now I actually have many years experience racing yet every time I make the crucial error of starting off to fast…the excitement and the adrenaline get to me and I think I’m in a 100m sprint or something. It is improving over time, however this was no different. It only really occurred to me as a fellow Preston runner passed me at 2 1/2 miles who normally is way in front of me. I checked my watch….oh dear….this was only going to go one way….to stop the panic I kept thinking to myself…just stay calm and relax and as long as I can do that I’ll be ok. The scenery helped me out too, it was just amazing and although road running isn’t my favourite forte, I’d much rather be out on the fells, this race was definitely up there with one of my favourite races I’ve done. I also had a Keswick athletic club runner on my tail and this helped keep me pushing on….I am after all rather competitive to say the least!
I had been warned that the course becomes quite hilly inbetween miles 5 and 7 and they weren’t wrong, but as you came out on top and looked to your right, you looked across the whole of Derwentwater. The water was sparkling in the sunlight and the autumnal colours surrounded it, it was simply breathtaking and worth every step up those hills. It was at this point I decided to check my pace…..eeek:
So that’s a 5k PB of 19.01 (it was 19:30 previously) and a 10k PB of 39:37 (it was 40:24) and that’s on an undulating course where I technically should have been using it as training and I’d not tapered for it…..makes me think I should get in a 5k and 10k race and put some effort in!!!
After this I managed to keep my pace pretty consistent and I was feeling pretty strong as we passed the 8 miles mark and ran through some lovely country roads….still undulating mind and care was needed on the wet, fallen leaves scattered across the road side. Then mile 9 came and it was here I started to feel the previous 8 miles, another fellow Preston runner caught up with me who is usually in front of me and he helped pull me through that final mile with some gentle encouragement from spectators too…..all I thought was “a mile is nothing, keep pushing on and the end will come quicker….” I think I even managed a little sprint finish to the end too.
What a race, it was full of everything you could possibly want from a run, scenery, a few little hills, supportive marshals and great organisation. To top it off the sun even came out to join us… I loved it. I even picked up 3 PBs, 2 already mentioned and a 10 mile PB of 1:05:45 (it was 1:06:50 on a flat course!!) and a £20 voucher for coming 5th for Kong adventures where I went and treated myself to these ☺️