It feels a bit of déjà vu writing a race report on The May Day 10km as I did the same race last year, I had planned on changing the date and submitting the same report, but my amazing proof reader and censor Mary wouldn’t let me, saying, ‘That would be bloody cheating you can’t do that!’
I had this race in my diary for a couple of months, Mary and the rest of my family decided to enter on Saturday! It was only at this point I realised that I hadn’t actually entered! So it is a good thing that I decided Mary could enjoy a run in the park as well.
After a short stroll from our house we arrived in a runner filled Abbey Fields; last year only Dave Philips and I ran the race, this year Massey had an impressive turnout of 7 making the photo – sorry to Wendy and any others for missing you out! And it was nice to have a chat with other Red and Whites before the off.
This race has had a few different billings in the past – The Kenilworth Killer, being one! Last year on the poster it advertised the race as the toughest 10km in England! It wasn’t undersold! The route takes you 3.33km in and around Abbey Fields hunting for any incline, slope or hill – either up or down – including running over the badger set and dodging tree roots.
Remembering my experience from last year and with a target time to beat, I set off with a clear plan of pace and tactics – go slow and walk the tough bits. This year I also had my trail shoes, which puzzlingly even after a good wash and clean after my last race in them were filled with sand and dirt that turned my toes a grim shade of brown!
After only 1 km the race had spread the runners out thinly, like most people spread marmite on their toast – The speed demons climbing the hills effortlessly like mountain goats and me trudging round puffing and blowing like a steam powered Massey tractor! All the way round the courses you could glimpse the quarters, although I never saw Mary after the starting hooter until she crossed the line, maybe she repeated last year’s race and didn’t run but just nipped into Starbucks?!
Familiar Massey faces appeared on the course, harder to spot when not dressed in shorts or Lycra, to give a cheer or friendly bit of banter (Thanks Andy and Tiff for you ever so positive comments 😉 ) I would like to think that they came for the sporting excellence on display but more likely it was to enjoy my suffering and bask in their common sense for deciding not to run! Whatever the reason for visiting Kenilworth to support it was most welcome and appreciated – as was the photobombing from Emma and Jenna.
On the last lap at the 8km to go sign I glanced at my watch and knew if I could keep up my pace I would PB this tough course and looking across the lake I saw Kelvin cresting the hill – knowing he wanted to get 69 minutes and seeing he was on for it I gave him a gentle bellow of encouragement, which I repeated when on the bottom field for good measure.
The last climb up the hill slightly confused both me and Dave Philips as we were both sure that the barrier tape had moved slightly sending us further up!
The downward run to home allowed me to stretch my legs like a gazelle hunted by a lion on the Serengeti – meaning I ran zig zagging down the hill as sweat blurred my vision. Crossing the line I immediately went back to the slope to encourage Kelvin home – and then wait for Mary. In the distance I saw red and white but not Kelvin! Mary! Mary galloped home and ran a year’s best 10km time! (some minutes faster than the Regency!) Kelvin and other Massey runners formed a triumphal procession home. Kelvin easily getting under his target time and a PB on this course.
Although it is a tough 10km it is thoroughly worth doing as it is a well organised and well marshalled event with nearly all the marshals extremely encouraging.
- David James 52:25
- Jodie Turner 60:47
- Jamie Turner 60:48
- Daniel Connolly 64:42
- Mary Connolly 68:37
- Kelvin Elliott 68:55
- Dave Phillips 70:20
- Anna Roden 74:37