The late May bank holiday was proving to be a scorcher. The storms from the Sunday night did nothing to dampen the humidity felt.
It was the first club GP race of 2017, a race chosen by recommendation from one of our members. It sounded nice but always a gamble choosing a race not covered in a GP before.
We headed to Hatfield for the Hatfield Broad Oak 10K. It was a shame that this clashes with the vitality run in London, I have always wanted to give that a go but didn’t fancy London twice in 2 days. Some from the club headed to London but we had a massive turnout for our first race.
Parking was easy, in a field so a car that can handle the grassy terrain was called for but there was plenty of space and the parking marshals very helpful. A short walk from the field took us to the race village.
The race village had a nice vibe to it, laid back but with a certain buzz you only get at races.
Number pick up was easy and quick, plenty of space for everyone to mingle or group together. We had time for the obligatory team photo, as always it’s like hearding kittens to get everyone organised and always a laugh.
The start was out on the road, the race would be on closed roads and would form a figure of eight around the area.
The race started on time and pretty quickly we were heading downhill and a decent pace. A good start, but there will be uphill too.
The weather and heat was relentless, the shade from the trees a welcome respite. The first water station was at the 5km mark and was needed.
The course was undulating, some hills, gentle inclined and declines. Very pretty surroundings, fields and lovely houses. The locals came out and supported which was really nice. The course was well marshalled and signposted, the closed roads were a total benefit.
The next water station was at the 7km point, I didn’t stop I was in the zone (the slow zone admittedly) I continued my pace but soon to live to regret not taking water.
At the 9km point I felt strong, my little internal mantra working well for me. Almost straight after the 9km marker a sharp right took us into a field and therefore grass. The finish was around this field so a steady jog with club mates watching at the finish point.
As we passed over the finish I knew I hadn’t got a PB but I didn’t care, I knew I had taken it cautiously because of the heat. I grabbed my finisher tshirt and made my way to get a bottle of water, they had run out, one of the perils of coming in at the back of the pack. I was gasping, I regretted not taking that water at the 7km point.
Oh well it was a good job I had a drink in my bag. A quick jog back to the finish line so I could cheer the last of the club mates through and then I was done.
Would I run it again? Yes probably, there wasn’t a medal but I wasn’t that fussed, the tshirt was nice enough. The set up was efficient and friendly and the route very pretty but I guess this time of year the weather could go against you.