This past weekend, we joined my uncle-in-law Keith for the Corsham 10K. This friendly, community event is in its 33rd year and expertly organized by the Corsham Running Club. Half of the entry fee goes to local charities like Food Banks and Air Cadets and last year, they donated £5,000. Yay for good deeds.
It was a perfect day for a 10K race, especially a beautiful jaunt through the English countryside. And even though I was sad to miss Sunday’s Yonge Street 10K in Toronto this year, I was happy to still be running a 10K race.
Truthfully, I haven’t run a lot of flat 10K races. Every year for the last three years, I have run both the Sporting Life and the Toronto Yonge Street 10K and consistently clocked PBs. But with a primarily downhill route, my time is not really a great representation of my actual 10K time. The Corsham route was a gradual uphill for the first 3K and then rolling hills after that. Definitely a more challenging route than I was used to. In fact, the only other 10K race I’ve done that even moderately resembled the Corsham route was the Oasis Zoo Run in 2012 where I ran a 54:44.
I didn’t go into Sunday’s race with any expectations at all. I haven’t been running very fast lately and I wasn’t really feeling like pushing myself. Just general Sunday laziness maybe. Even my original goal of keeping up with the 55 minute pacer seemed like a task of epic proportions. I thought I’d just run and see what happened. And because I wasn’t putting a lot of pressure on myself, I wasn’t nervous at all. No pre-race jitters. No multiple trips to the port-a-potty. No stress. Just a casual warmup in the sunshine.
After the first kilometer, I was surprised to find we were keeping a pretty good pace of 5:30/km despite the hills, and somehow – against all odds – we not only managed to maintain it, but actually get faster as the race went on!
I briefly lost my husband Graham at about the 7K mark where I slowed a bit to eat a piece of orange handed to me by an enthusiastic spectator. I kept him in my sights though and caught up to him around 9K. We both finished the race together crossing the finish line at 54:42, which we’re both counting as our new flat 10K PB. Yay us!
The other exciting race result is that I somehow came in 63rd in my category which seems ridiculously good. I mean, I’m not standing on the podium, but compared to my usual placement in the 1000s, this seems like something I can brag about!
I loved the community feel of this event. With only 900 runners, it felt big enough to be official but small enough that it wasn’t overwhelming. Roadside entertainment included a local school band and local residents in dressing gowns out on their front lawns to watch the action. The race also had a lot of new or first time runners. At the finish line, I saw one runner hug her friend and proudly declare that she ran the whole 10K without stopping. It’s nice to remember that the chip time, for some, isn’t the only marker of success. It made me reminisce about the first race I ever ran where I completed the whole 10K without stopping – The Brampton Spring Sprint in 2010 – another lovely community race.
Of course, I owe a big shout to uncle-in-law Keith who not only introduced us to this fine race, but finished with a blazing fast time of 47:11 and 27th in his category. Well done you! And I would remiss if I didn’t mention the beautiful, delicious, absolutely perfect lamb roast that my aunt-in-law Debbie prepared for our post-race feast. The perfect meal after a hard run and so very appreciated. I basically went into a food-induced coma on the train ride home.
Overall, it was a really good event. A great route, supportive spectators, well run, beautiful weather and just a really good vibe overall. While I was sad to miss the inaugural Toronto Yonge Street 10K, the Corsham run was a pretty good substitute – and it had a lot better scenery (Sorry Toronto!)