Run Report By Helen Rowe
Saturday 7th July 2018 – 05:00am the alarm goes off. Cal is picking me up just before 06:00 hours, for the first of the 7 @ Severn races, at Draycote Water. It was a glorious morning. I dressed in my readily prepared running gear, and had my porridge. Cal arrived at 05:50 hours, and we set off.
We collected our numbers, and headed back to the car to fill them in, and attach them to our tops. As we sat in the car park, more and more familiar Massey faces arrived. At 06:45 hours we walked round to the start line, which is about 1 kilometre away from the café. The sun was already beating down. We had the customary Massey photo, and then it was time for the off!
The mass soon thinned out, as the fast runners went off ahead, and the rest of us followed at our own pace. There were areas of the route that were very exposed, and it was quite hot even at that time of the morning, but fortunately there were other areas that provided some welcome shade. There were not too many flies about either.
The water station was just before the 4K marker, and although I always carry a drink in my bumbag, I was glad of the extra water. I got to the 5K marker in just under 40 minutes, so I was hoping if I could keep up the pace, I would get a better time than last year. I had been calculating my pace the night before (when I had another bout of insomnia), and worked out that if I could maintain a 13 minute mile, I would finish in 56-57 minutes.
Me and another woman were playing cat and mouse a lot. First she was in the lead, then I overtook her. Then she overtook me, and then I overtook her again. I managed to run up most of the hills, and I definitely ran down all of the hills.
I always find the last mile around Draycote the hardest – that long stretch that seems to go on forever. I was determined to run it all though. I plodded along, and passed the 6K marker. Then I went round the bend and could see the finish line in the distance. I kept going. As I got closer I could hear my Massey colleagues shouting encouragement, and I crossed the line in 55:22 – a new course PB for me.
At 6:00pm Cal and I returned to Draycote to do the Seven @ Severn at 7.:0pm. We took Sally Slevin with us, to spectate. There were quite a few Massey runners from the morning, and some Massey runners who had come along for the evening run only. We walked around to the start point, and we were soon under way again. It was still very hot. The fast runners went off, and I was in the long tail towards the back (I know my place). I tried to maintain a steady pace, but after running the 7k in the morning, and then going and running Daventry parkrun afterwards, my legs were feeling quite tired.
I played “cat and mouse” with a couple of runners, and tried to give encouragement to people I overtook when I thought it was needed.
Last year I did it in 59:13, so I was still hoping to improve on that. I didn’t think I would be able to better my morning time, or even equal it, but I decided to give it my best. Again, the last mile was the worst, but as soon as you hear the roar of the crowd calling your name, you just have to give it your best shot. As I approached the finish line, it collapsed in front of me, and people had t hold it up so I could run under the bridge. My finish time was 58:06 – which was still better than last year, so I was pleased with that.
Overall there were 23 MFRC runners who did the morning run, and 20 who did the evening run.
After the run, most of us went to The Boat, about a mile up the road, for a well-deserved drink, and to talk about our favourite subject……