The Barnsley 10k

This race last year, I was laid up in bed! Sick as a dog, listening to the wind battering my window. Throwing up, shaking and skipping from hot to cold. I was gutted, I had to miss it, at the time seeming the best decision. I had run everyday from July time and the Barnsley 10k 2015, was my first day off, choosing not to run at all that day. Another gutting factor. Therefore I had to start my ‘streak’ again. It was to be the November 30th 2015; the day after, still poorly but going out and completing 5 mile in my joggers and about 20 layers on top. Since then, I have run everyday since, with the original plan to be 5k for the lowest distance completed. 

This Wednesday, the 30th of November 2016. Should be marking the 1 year anniversary for my streak, since it began. A measley amount in comparison to the great Ron Hill who has run everyday since December 1964. 

I will be writing another blog about my streak! Giving it the all due respect that it deserves, so look out for that on Wednesday. If I make it, that is. 

Barnsley 10K and Parkrun

Approaching the last few days before my year, I’m feeling high on confidence in running, enjoying it and taking it as it comes. I’ve had a great week and had a few easy and plenty of hard runs, especially after last weeks freak Saturday sickness.

I definitely wasn’t trying though in the summer or spring, as yet again I shocked myself and set another PB at Parkrun 17:31 on watch, but results are yet to be published so it should be 30,31 or 32; still better by 7 seconds minimum over my 17:39 a few weeks ago. 

With Barnsley 10k being obviously a local run, I opted to run there, in my eyes, in comparison to Wakefield, Salford, Dewsbury and the Percy Pud; it’s not a PB course. So I wasn’t too fussed around time. So as all the other local runs, where time has allowed, I’ve run to them placing them in the middle of a long run. It’s a nice 5 mile warm up anyway, with a few hills and as far as I want on the way back. I made it in good time arriving around 9.20, getting my number and by god it was busy, with over 800 entries by the looks of it! Is Barnsley 10k back on the map? Back to the glory Barnsley Marathon days that I’ve read so much about. It really does feel great at a local run, but it did have a big run feel to it today. My last 10k was at Cusworth, where I ran 36:06, a previous PB course for me. But I was supposed to be ‘tapering’ for York Marathon a week later and would’ve struggled to beat my 35:52 set at the flat(ish) Wakefield. 

So Barnsley 10k, for me wasn’t to be the PB event of the century. Too many rolling hills and I’d already put myself at a disadvantage by running there, running down and up through the valley. Starting in Royston Park, dead on 10, kind of missed a Keith Binney speech about earphones in all honesty, or his famous descriptions of how flat it is. Fair few familiar faces knocking around and off we went; up the slippy grass, breaking out onto midland road, heading towards the rabbit ings, I’ve run on here plenty of times now, I know the hills and turns for the first mile or so, very well. It’s a fast little bit, until you hit the ings. And then you can slow dramatically, if you aren’t careful, a couple of runners in front of me had already started to do that. A clear leading pack containing Moody, Powell, Dimelow and Middleton had already formed, different league these fellas. I was just behind them, knowing that I probably wouldn’t hang on. Forming a fringe group of 4/5 runners instead of their 10 strong! We was soon out past the coaking plant and up the hill, splitting up and running on your own now. Seeing the leading group in the distance like a magnetic force pulling us along. 5:43 for the first mile, but it wasn’t to be my fastest. 5:54 for my second, and I really thought that I was dropping off. Knowing that the next couple of miles dropped down a little bit, I kicked on pulling away from two runners and as we approached mile 3 marker, I clocked 5:39. On our way back now destination Notton. Mile 4 is the fastest bit of the course, I clocked another 5:39 through here. The mile markers getting further and further away from where my watch was clocking the splits for them. So I pressed it off of the screen, to just focus on the running. Leaving my clock face on. 

Mile 4-5 is really daunting when you’ve been going majority of the time down hill, it hits you like a true ton. Slowly punishing any runner who hits it. I had lost sight completely of the leading pack, and could only see a few out in front now. I couldn’t hear anyone behind, lifting my head to target those in front. 5:56 for the mile, I’ve looked afterwards, at the time, I’m glad I didn’t know. A mile now to go, with the uphill finish, helped this year by the sun in your eyes, so you couldn’t actually see any of it, or how far it was! Make or break for me here. I was either going to struggle with fatigue from my run to the race, or I was going to run up it, as quick as I could handle, ignoring all signs of fatigue and not showing any of it. The bottom of the hill came fast, bending around the corner and seeing a familiar face in Ian Neville! An absolute Parkrun legend and a true inspiration to me when I first started running. He was my first real target to get sub 20 at Parkrun. He continues to be, by showing his commitment to people, the sport and enthusiasm for everything! A true gent and such a great individual to chat to. I heard him shout at me, 400 metres to go, echoing in my head. I felt fast, picking me knees up this last hill, it wasn’t going to be it. Reaching the peak before dropping to the finish, easy bit. 

I finished in 35:51, watch time.

So now we wait for the chip timing gods to work there magic and to see if it’s a PB! 

Strava Link:

The gods worked their magic! 

Results link:–ndkwQO10NRdZ-fvDVeRiUzJCxGeVJvUeQHzXj7gfg0QXSfJKPuNE2sjbTEe2lp0aIruzOPdgsz9BknnXl6ztcUVfteP6cHJvW9OP86iHs

Gun time: 35:53

Chip time: 35:51

A 1 one second PB, on a non PB course. That’ll do for me.

I ran a nice 10 mile on the way back home, snaking my way around the 5 mile route I took on the way there! 

Now to see what happens at the Percy Pud next week, I don’t think I will be running there. 

Thanks to Alison Wood and Steve Frith for the photos! 

Just Keep Running!

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