Let’s get this out there straight away. I failed. My one target over the past couple of months has been to achieve a sub 40 minute 10K time by the end of June. I know that June isn’t over yet and so by some miracle I could still do it but I don’t have any races planned and this was definitely the race to do it in. It’s as flat as they come and as straight as they come. If ever there was a time to get a PB this was it.

Photo by Mick Hall

I wanted to write this review yesterday but was too grumpy with myself last night to think about reliving it again so soon after. The most annoying thing is that I don’t know where, or rather why, it went wrong. My pace was only 4:11 per km, the exact same pace as when I started writing this blog after doing the Wakefield 10k 3 months ago. The exact same pace as a hilly 10.5km training run I did last weekend before taking it easy for a week in advance of this race.

There’s a tiny part of me that is taking some satisfaction knowing that I did at least set a target that I could fail at. If you read my first post on here it will hopefully give you a clearer idea of why that is important to me. The problem is though that this doesn’t just feel like a failure to achieve the target. It feels like, and is, a failure to make any sort of progress in 3 months, and I have no idea why.

Anyway, onto the race, though this review should be read remembering it is being written by a man sorely disappointed with his own outcomes on the day. That said, it felt like a lot about this run could have been a lot better. Communication in the run up to the event was minimal though sufficient and registration was a breeze. They were even kind enough to let me pick up a friend’s race pack. Registration and the start of the race took place inside the same location as the “finishers festival” which seems like a very grandiose term for a bouncy castle, a bar and a stage with some local bands playing. This area was on what is commonly known as the comedy carpet. I do love this space in Blackpool, though if you’re going to read it remember your sunglasses because the glare from the white stone is pretty intense.

The race itself was an out and back, out and back affair going from the comedy carpet, which is opposite Blackpool Tower, out to the south pier (by the Pleasure Beach) and back (x2). There’s not much to look at on the race and the idea of having music to line the run seemed like a superb idea. The problem was it felt like someone forgot to book the music. Right at the start there was a funnel of ooompah loompahs making a lot of noise. Then about 1k in were two guys blasting out some rock tunes from the top of an open top bus, then just before the turn around point, a guy who should know better by his age, blasting out some banging techno from his “boom box”. While all of these musical interludes were well appreciated it felt like calling it a “music run” was somewhat overselling some welcome but fairly incidental roadside entertainment.

Photo by Mick Hall

There isn’t much else to say about the run itself. My run began to hit the skids at about the 4.5km mark. My pace was perfect for my intended time but my whole body felt to weigh about 20% more than it should and it was evident from that point it was going to be a struggle. I held on to 6th place until around 7.5km when slowly but surely two guys, who were either better runners or had paced themselves much better, slowly caught up and left me for dead to finish the day in 8th place. 8th place should sound great but anyone that runs will know that every run you take is just against yourself and I lost big time in that respect. Still, a good day was had in Blackpool with family and friends and I somehow managed to get sunburnt in what is surely the worst June weather on record to date.

Over the next couple of days I’m going to take a bit of time to think about what my target should be moving forward having failed this one. It will still be to get under 40 minutes for a 10k, I just need to decide when I think I can do it by. Next time I post I’ll have this nailed down along with a cast iron plan on how to achieve it.

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