This morning, three weeks after completing my second triathlon, it was time for the first 10K event I’ve ever attempted: the City of Preston 10K. Happily, I wasn’t alone; my sister Jade, who has previously completed two marathons, would be running with me. Last weekend, we ran 10.16km together in 54 minutes 52 seconds, and I found it was easier to do it with a partner; the talking often kept me distracted from the exertion.
It was very crowded as we took our positions at the start, around the Preston Flag Market; around 1800 people were taking part, according to the announcer. Having never taken part in a running event like this before, I wasn’t sure what effect the surrounding people would have. By the time we crossed the start line, however, there was plenty of space to work with – though on some of the paths later on, it was necessary to run on the verge to overtake people.
The run took us south, through Avenham Park, to the River Ribble, which we followed east before crossing over and heading back west again. Congestion did slow us down on some of these narrow paths, as we were forced to go in single-file. Meanwhile, whether it was the inclines or navigating through the other runners, the run felt much harder than it had the previous weekend. On that occasion, I had gotten more into my stride for the second half; but by the time we crossed the river again, just short of the 8km mark, I felt knackered, and it was becoming more and more tempting to join the competitors who had slowed to a walking pace. When we came back to Avenham Park, there was one more punishing uphill climb before we could get back to the Flag Market.
Still, Jade and I both forced ourselves to keep going, and we were still running when we crossed the finish line! My personal target had been to finish in less than an hour – and I just made it, with a time of 59:08. Not bad for a first attempt! Next year, I’m going to try a half marathon if I can manage it.
I’ve been completing these events to raise money for the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, on this JustGiving page – donations can still be made and are much appreciated!