The Cabbage Patch 10 miler is a race that I’ve done numerous times before, but not for a good few years. We (me and my sisters) started our running days at Wimbledon Windmillers and this was always one of the big ‘local races’. So it always brings back lots of great memories when we run it.
This race always sells out really quickly but when Vicky said she had managed to get a place, I snapped up Samantha Lusty’s place that was on offer and Richard managed to get a number transfer as well.
I’d heard a few rumours that potentially it was going to be a very wet one with a storm due at 10am… just in time for the start of the race! So no surprises that heading up to Twickenham it was torrential rain – great!
We arrived at HQ – The Cabbage Patch pub in Twickenham high street. The downside to this race is baggage drop and changing facilities are in the upstairs of the pub. This is great as it’s always warm and dry but the smell of beer and god knows what else from the previous evening is still lingering around!
We came out of the pub to go for a warm up expecting it to be awful conditions still but the weather gods were on our side – it was now dry and really quite warm.
We were all herded like cattle into the holding pen before all being ushered out on to the main road – the gun went off and it’s like red rag to a bull – everyone charged off! Charles St. Aubyn appeared just as we were being ushered in to the pen and he commented that the start was ‘interesting and different!’
So this is the first 10 miler I have done for a few years (Maidenhead 10 in possibly 2015!) but I know I like 10 miles races, especially this one and although I was suffering with a bit of the ‘lurgy’ I was hoping to enjoy it. I’ve been working on my pace and doing interval sessions once a week over the last 2 months so was hoping to be fairly consistent in my pacing throughout and ideally run between 8.15-30 min/miles.
Vicky and I set off together and the plan was to just run and see how we go. If we stick together and help each other, great (we work well as a team when we race but contrary to what people think we don’t say a word to each other the whole way round!) but if we lose each other then just run your own race.
We lost each other after about half a mile! That was fine though – we’d both do our own thing. I ran the first few miles faster than I should have done and kept thinking I should drop the pace a bit otherwise I’d blow up. Richard sped past me at 1 mile and I tried to keep him in my sights but lost him when he stopped for water at 5 miles.
The course is flat but so varied, it winds through lots of residential areas, over Kingston bridge, through a park, along the river, through Hampton court, along the towpath again, over Richmond bridge, back down to Twickenham along the river – the miles ticked past really quickly and with each mile I kept thinking, I’m probably going a bit fast for me but I feel OK and think I can hold this pace for a few more miles! I’ve made the mistake before on this course to kick too early on the towpath back to the finish and have really suffered in the last mile. I didn’t want to make that mistake again so although I was jostling a little bit with another female runner I kept to my race plan and didn’t go too soon, just slowly picked it up with about 800m to go. A big shout out from Charles about 200m to go and I knew the finish was just around the corner!
I’d had a great race and was pleased with my splits. I was hoping for an average pace of about 8.20 and managed 8.10 average so it safe to say the interval sessions are definitely working!
5 minutes after we had all finished the heavens opened and it was torrential rain that sent everyone running for cover! At least it was after we’d finished.
Thanks to George Green for his support around the course – he even got our names right! Plus the use of his umbrella back to the pub!
Another bonus of the Cabbage Patch is the long sleeved technical T-shirt. It’s always a great top. Richard managed to walk away with a whole heap of other stuff too! Cereal bars, Cans of London Pride and tried to take a Cabbage (until he realised the cabbages were prizes!!)
Another great experience at the Cabbage Patch and will stick it in the diary for next year!