The weather forecast for the Bristol 10k was not good. 20mph winds gusting up to 35mph, rain. Not ideal running conditions. The Ashton Court parkrun core team were out marshalling though, so a weather window of sorts opened up (apart from a nasty shower just before the start). The wind (which was my main concern) had died down a bit overnight, and the showers were mostly holding off as I walked in (to acclimatise). I caught a bit of Rastamouse as I returned from the bag drop and followed the pipers in to the red pen to huddle together with other runners.
After a false start (which is a new one for me) we were off and once again I was struck by how many people apparently lie about the time they are going to do and hold up people behind them dawdling along like Sunday drivers. I managed to weave my way through them though and my Ashton Court hill tackling stood me in good stead as I powered up the overpass and down onto the Portway.
I was still worried about the wind along the Portway as it can be a bit of a wind tunnel (not to mention the potential for rocks to drop from above) but it seemed pretty sheltered (or there were just enough people ahead of me to act as wind breaks). I was doing steady 4:30 min/km, which was faster than my 4:45 min/km plan, but it felt good so I tried to keep it going.
The lone wheelchair racer passed to applause, then the lead group (one of the benefits to being in the first wave). No spotting anyone dressed as a banana going faster than me this time (which didn’t mean there wasn’t one, runners can get awfully short-sighted). Some friendly faces marshalling along this section and it was the turnaround and back into town.
My Garmin decided that it had lost satellite reception just after 7km. The time seemed to keep running, but the pace function was no use and it ended up deciding I had only done 9.55km. It will have been at least 10km, probably more as no-one runs the shortest, tightest line, but that did screw up the timings of the final few kms and their pace readings. I corrected the Garmin entry manually to be a round 10km (I went 10.14km last year). I couldn’t be sure that the timing was correct as I was running, so I just kept pushing and when I came into the final 100m saw that I could get under 48 minutes on the clock if I kicked on, so I did. My pre-race target had been 48 minutes, but I was going to allow extra time if it was windy and wet.
The official time came in at 46:10 and placed me 1,322nd. My Garmin time was also 46:10. A pretty substantial pb over my 47:57 from last year at Castle Coombe, with traffic. I lost an earbud from my yurbuds disentangling myself in the finish area and now have two lefts and no rights from my two pairs. But I got a delightful yellow technical shirt and a medal for my troubles.
I was running in my Cancer Research vest and any donations can be made here: Just Giving