I made sure to get to sleep early the night before at 9:30 pm and woke just before 6 am. Did an easy 3.3km run to prepare myself mentally for the race throwing in some strides to get up to speed. After that, I had my usual breakfast of eggs and vegetables along with liver (a real iron booster) from last night and some beetroot as well as coffee with a bit of honey in it.
We arrived at Berry Hill Park, Mansfield and immediately I smiled when I saw all the tents up because it had been a while since I’d done cross country and I was excited to race. I walked the short course which had a few hills and very dry ground. It was not a course for long spikes, so I opted for worn down 9mm spikes which probably came down to around 6 or 7mm.
Gearing Up to Race
After a 3.2km warm up and some running drills, I went to the pen where I would wait for the first runner from Bedford ‘B’ team to pass through the finish before starting the 2nd leg of the 3km loop (although my Garmin measured it as 2.88km). After the leader had crossed the line I had to wait slightly over a minute before starting by which point we were well behind the other teams. In front of me, there were two runners, too far ahead to catch easily. Within a minute of starting my leg, another athlete overtook me with speed – I couldn’t hope to stick with him.
I tried to maintain a strong steady effort throughout the race which I think I did. The most frustrating thing was having no one to work with to run faster. I thoroughly enjoyed my race actually, pushing at a hard pace for the first time in a while, but I have no doubt I could of run faster if someone was applying pressure from behind (the next runner after me was 30 seconds behind) or other runners were in reach. I completed my leg in 9:57 which I was pleased with as it was below 10 minutes which was a little target I had set myself in the race. Overall, our B team finished 37th and our A team finished 10th.
Onto the cooldown, my legs felt oddly loose and good. I smiled to myself since I knew it meant I could’ve run faster although it was frustrating that I didn’t. However, this race has certainly made me excited for my race next weekend where I will be running 8km over even steeper hills and the race will play more into my hands as the distance gets longer!
Did you race this weekend? Let me know down below!