I entered the Goring 10K for two reasons, primarily because there was an opportunity to purchase a fantastic looking florescent yellow technical t shirt bearing the name of the event but also because I hadn’t run a 10k race since Mortimer in the Autumn.
I had no idea what to expect and could only go by reviews of the race online which a few described as undulating but well organised. I would prefer ‘flat’ but not to worry I was confident that the beautiful rolling countryside of Goring would more than make up for a few hills.
When race day came it brought with it the beginning of Storm Freya. I didn’t let this deter me as I collected my number from the school and then sat and waited patiently for the start of the race in the warm school gymnasium. As the race began I felt confident and full of energy and powered up the first hill not even thinking of the wind and rain. The downhill that followed was very welcome and I was able to let my legs go and get some speed up.
However as I reached the end of the road at a crossing point, the marshal told us “you have to wait here we are letting a few cars through”. I couldn’t believe it. I had to stand and wait as they let 3 cars in each direction pass through. One runner ignored the marshal and just ran across anyway ignoring shouts of “Stop!” I tried to not let my annoyance of this ridiculous decision bother me and I crossed the road and onto the field.
I had previously thought that the race would be entirely on road but clearly this was not to be the case. However we were soon back on the road again and before not too long met with an incline. I didn’t let this affect me too much and just carried on at roughly the same pace. The race continued up and down and I was acutely aware that the race finished at roughly the same point we had started and that we had a bit of height to make up somewhere. I also remember reading online that the race has a downhill finish so I knew the climb would be coming soon enough. Sure enough after a right turning I could see runners ahead of me on a long sweeping uphill section. Just as I started on the hill, the wind associated with Storm Freya picked that exact moment to blow straight into my face trying to push me back down. I gritted my teeth and carried on trying to remind myself of the downhill finish.
The easier last mile or so was much needed and I even tried to put a sprint on halfway across the finishing field, taking care not to slip on the wet grass as I crossed the line.