Wednesday evening saw me run my first road race in over 11 years, the first of 3 in the Yateley 10k series, and what a great run and evening it was.
The Yateley 10k series is a large, well organised series of races run on the first Wednesday in June, July and August every year and thanks to it's close proximity to work, has become a bit of a tradition with the runners at work. Each year, I hear the guys talking about the races so I thought this would be a great re-introduction to road running and my first official race in the UK (at the time I registered I hadn't planned on doing any of the Parkruns).
My wife and I made our way over to Yateley and got there for about 18:30 giving me plenty of time to collect my number, timing chip (the race uses Championchips for timing), warm up, queue for the little boys room (I felt like a lady having to queue for the loo) and then make my way into the funnel that is the start of the race.
At 19:31 we were all sent on our way. Everyone except me were wearing shoes, those crazy fools . The race took us out of the school grounds onto the road. It was then a moderate climb up to the 3km mark, downhill with a little bump to the 5km mark for our first water station. Just beyond that we turned onto Reading road for a long lonely flat slog of just short of 2km before turning off, past a sponges station, the 7km mark and another water station and made our way back towards the start/finish with a short little hill just near the 9km mark to keep things interesting and to sap a little bit of that energy you saved for the final sprint home.
I thought this was a great route. Not excessively challenging, but challenging enough to keep it interesting. From a barefoot perspective, most of the route is very pleasant to run on. The only places I encountered a bit of difficulty due to excessively large stones in the tar (and a bit of fatigue) was along Reading Road between the 6 and 8km marks and a little section on Firgrove Road just before you go round the roundabout up towards Waitrose.
And now for my results:
As I mentioned above, the race uses Championchips for timing. Thankfully I knew about this before the event so purchased a triathlon timing chip ankle strap to hold my chip. I'm quite impressed with my time, especially the chip time which indicates the time it took me to cover the 10km. I definitely think a sub-45 is on the cards next time, however I need to add more 10+ km training runs to teach my feet and body to cope with the tough stuff when I'm tired.
All in all I had a great evening and am now most definitely hooked again. I'm already starting to look at other races to run other than the 3 Yateley races and have my eye on a few which involve offroad sections, so I'll have to run these in Vibrams. Hopefully I'll be able to post a photo from the race when the official photos become available.
No Parkrun today. I'm knackered from a week of insanely early shifts and the race and I know I'd want to race the Parkrun. Too much racing makes Colin a broken boy. Maybe next week.