Am not sure what it is but I love running in Derby. I see a race in Derby and I want to enter it, I have a need to run it. I have no idea why. The Derby 10 mile was one such race. I needed to run it. My favourite race is the Ramathon in June, and the Derby 10 mile followed a very similar route to the Ramathon so instinctively I knew it would be good.
The Ramathon is flat and fast, it really is flat not one of these races that pretends to be flat. I think the profile of the race is similar to the track, it is that flat. Anyways, given this I knew the Derby 10 mile would also be flat and fast. My race plan was simple, find a comfy pace and stick at it for the full 10 miles. No stopping, just running.
A very, very cold start greeted us that morning. A bitterly cold wind blew around the iPro stadium as runners huddled together inside to keep warm. The smell of bacon sandwiches coming from somewhere close by and with a bit of time to spare, off we went to locate them. Perfect pre race fuel.
For whatever reason we were ushered into the start pens far too early. The cold wind causing everyone to shiver. I was wishing I had worn more layers, and trying to remember why I ran in winter. A staggered start occurred, meaning we were stood out for even longer. Then the countdown began and off we went round the stadium before heading down along canal path.
A different start to the Ramathon but still a familiar one, as this was the path home. Round some playing fields and past Sunday football. Onwards along the path to the road. Here is where it got a little scary. We were running on the footpath at the side of a dual carriage way, which was still open and with cars whizzing past. Ahead there were clouds of smoke which we later realised was dust previous runners had kicked up as they ran through the dry verge.
Towards the country park now, and I sight I know well from the Ramathon. One of my favourite parts to run through and I felt comfortable and relaxed. The cramp that had been bothering my legs for the first 3 miles had gone, and instead it was feeling comfortable.
Out of the country park now and back along the canal path. experience told me 3 miles to go. My mind playing little tricks as it thought we should be 10 miles down instead of the 7 as it would have been with the half marathon. Even then that canal path is the longest 3 miles of any race. It feels like it takes forever.
Eventually you see the left turn back into the stadium. Here the route became deceiving as you had to run past the finish line to make a final lap of the stadium before you could finish. A little disheartening I might admit but the final push, 400m, 200m and then I sprinted. I ran for it.
I looked at the clock and knew even with the gun time it was a PB and a big one at that. The chip time confirmed a PB by almost 8 minutes. I was buzzing!
With the exception of cramp for the first 3 miles, every part of that race was comfy. I hadn't pushed it, instead I needed that confidence boost of running continuously for 10 miles. To gain a PB and feel that relaxed is just amazing. I shall be back next year to see if I can PB again!
This Day I love Derby 10 miles