Last week, Graham and I decided to do a mid-week 10k race. Because… why not?
RunThrough has a summer event series called Chase the Sun. These midweek races start at 7pm with the goal being to finish before the sun sets. I thought it sounded like a great idea. And it was.
And Graham promised pizza if either of us got a PB.
This particular event was in Victoria Park, so it was reasonably close to home. As soon as I arrived, it started raining but I found a big tree to get ready under. Luckily, it was just a little passing shower and it ended by the time Graham arrived.
The overcast weather and cool temperature was the perfect running conditions and I was feeling pretty good about the run, having just run my 10k PB a few weeks ago at another RunThrough event. I was reasonably convinced I could do it again. Graham was gunning for a fast time too.
We set off and I was right behind Graham for the first 2kms. I knew he didn’t know I was there and I thought about trying to catch up to him several times. But then I also realised that was self-sabotage because he was clearly running way faster than I could maintain. I wasn’t using my watch, but I knew I set out way too fast.
We rounded a tight corner and Graham did a double take over his shoulder as he realised I was right behind him. He shouted, “Ah!” Obviously, surprised to see me, he then sped up. I didn’t see him again until the finish line.
As soon as he was out of sight, I just had myself to focus on and I was struggling. It was just 4km into the race and it felt tough. I just kept telling myself to maintain a steady pace. I looked at the people around me and just tried to focus on matching pace with them.
The course was three loops and then a straight couple hundred metres to the finish. I sincerely struggled through most of that run and I was convinced I’d absolutely blown it. I was sure my pace was slowing with every minute. I was certain that a sub-50 time was long gone.
So, as I approached the finish line with the last bit of energy I had, I was surprised to see the clock! I’d bloody done it again! Another 10km PB! This time, I crossed the line with a time of 48:16!
This is 33 seconds faster than my 10k PB I set just a few weeks ago. I have been chasing a sub-50 10k for years so to have done it twice in the span of a month is somewhat unfathomable to me!
Unlike my last race, Graham was at the finish line to greet me.
He had an amazing race himself, shattering his previous best by more than two minutes! He finished with a time of 46:36! Not bad for a Wednesday night, right?
Pizza was definitely in order.
I’m really proud of us. It’s nice to be able to keep getting better, despite getting older. I’m inspired by the idea that my best running years might still be ahead of me.
I also want to give a bit shout-out to RunThrough events. The events are perfectly executed, slick operations. They are big enough to feel like a proper race, but small enough to have an easy, community feel to them. The race pack pickup and bag check is easy and efficient, and they post all the race pictures on Facebook after the events, so you can have your race photos for free! I so rarely get pictures during the race so this is such a nice benefit. There’s also a nice selection of nibbles available at the end, including homemade flapjacks!
I’ll definitely be back for another one.