LBH No bridges relay, Fast Friday & Harry Hawkes 10

On Wednesday the 22nd of June I took part in the LBH relays. Normally the route is along the river near Westminster bridge but due to roadworks and the referendum the race had to be moved to near the O2. I ran in the LBH Bridges Relay last year and really enjoyed it. It was a 2.3 mile lap including having to cross a couple of bridges and go round a few sharp corners. Our team, including the super quick duo of Pete Huck and Kip, managed to win by a pretty big margin. 
This year we sorted a team in short notice. In my team was Ben Johnson, Luca Guarnieri and Pete Huck. As we were walking to the start area you could tell we weren’t exactly pumped up for it. We had all taken part in the track session on Tuesday night and because Luca didn’t know we were running until the afternoon he had already ran 20k that day. Not ideal race prep. However it was good to turn up and represent Run-Fast, we supply the race bibs for the event. 

I ran the first leg for our team. Similarly to last year I was about a minute off the lead when I handed over to Luca. Due to running the City of London Mile a few days before and the track session I was happy with posting a time of 12:07 for 2.3 miles. Considering having 20k in his legs Luca ran a solid leg and then Ben and Pete sped round the course. Pete clocked the quicker slap of the evening in eleven minutes. We had managed to finish top 10 which was a good effort, some of the teams there were pretty quick.  

 Wanting to take part in Night of the 10,000 PBs next year I decided it would be good to get a track race under my belt. My colleague Mary let me know about Fast Friday that Orion Harriers put on so I decided to sign up. I opted to take part in the 10,000m race as I wanted to see what 25 laps of a track felt like. As my 10k PB on road was 34:58 I put down 35 minutes as my goal time knowing my legs wouldn’t be fresh post City of London Mile etc. 

After work I headed to Walthamstow track and arrived approximately an hour before the 8:15 start. I picked up my race number and caught up with Mary whilst watching the first couple of races. 

 Martin and Lydia who I know through the Running Works were racing so it was good to watch and cheer them on. I ran a couple of laps of the track to warm up but before I knew it the race was starting. My legs were feeling a bit tired from track and the LBH relays in the week but I was hoping they’d loosen up after a couple of laps.

Luckily for me they had to combine two of the 10k races due to the floodlights not working. I thought it would be better to be in a race with more people around. Another good thing was that there was a pacer on 35min pace for the first 9 laps. I went out a bit quicker than this but after a couple laps settled in behind the pacer. I held 3:30min/km for the majority of the race and the laps soon went. There were a couple of other runners around me and we took it in turns going in front. 

With a few laps to go my legs were still feeling good so I upped my pace to make sure I’d go sub 35 minutes. I finished in 34:50, I really enjoyed my first track race and can’t wait to do another one. Hopefully I can taper for my next track race and maybe post a time in the low 34 minutes if not quicker. After my race I watched the 5,000m A race. Adam Kirk-Smith who used to live with Mary and runs at track smashed it running sub 15 minutes. It’s great doing events like this and watching and running with people quicker than you. It makes me want to train harder and get to that level.

To finish my week of racing I took part in the Harry Hawkes 10 miler on the Sunday. Having ran the race with my girlfriend Lorna in 2015 I knew it was a good fun event to do. Lorna was running it again but was using it as more of a training run having done a long run the day before. I had rested post Fast Friday and so was hoping for a 10 mile PB (having not raced many 10 milers before).

My primary aim was to run sub 60 minutes. Having run half marathons at quicker than that pace I thought it would be doable but I didn’t know how tired my legs would be. Off the start I was close to my half marathon pace but after a couple of miles I realised my legs were pretty tired.  

I had to ease off but managed to finish in a time of 59 minutes. I really enjoy the Harry Hawkes 10 route along the river. As long as it fits in the race calendar I’ll always be back. 

Lorna ran really well finishing only a couple of minutes slower than last year. This was good considering we ran 71 minutes last year together, she had done a long run the day before and had to stop to tie her shoelaces.  

    
 Overall it was a busy 8 days but I’m happy with the results:

City of London Mile: 4:43 (PB)

LBH Bridges (No bridges) Relay: 12:07 (all important 2.3 mile PB)

Fast Friday: 34:50 (10,000m PB)

Harry Hawkes 10: 59:00 (10M PB)

See a lot of you soon

Steve

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