Race Report – Run Your Heart Out Valentine’s 10k – Scunthorpe 13 February 2022
Sunny Scunny it certainly was not for this wintry race in the flatlands. 44 Striders turned up on an incredibly dull and windy day at Quibbell Park for the start of the Run Your Heart Out Valentine’s 10k, the first race of the road championships and also the road league, for those of us foolish enough to have entered. It was great to see so many people in green and gold congregating at the start, and there was a good mix of friendly faces from all the regular training runs.
My quick warm up jog with John Wilkinson told us that the wind was going to be a feature of this race, and I concluded that we would have a nice tailwind on the return leg, but suffer on the way out. As it turned out, the wind was an issue for the majority of the route.
Initially heading west away from the town, the route was essentially a rectangle through fields of not much at all, before returning back to Quibbell Park. The course was almost entirely flat, apart from two small rises as we passed over a motorway. I’d been looking forward to an opportunity to run on the flat, but I can’t say I found this an enjoyable race.
As a relative newbie to running and racing, I made the classic error of setting off too fast and running out of steam, and I got slower with every km. Feeling the pressure of being in Division 2, I was aiming for a somewhat ambitious PB and lined up at the start with the 40 minute pacers. With hindsight, this was entirely unrealistic, and I lost them within about a minute of setting off, despite putting in a very fast (for me) first km. Malcolm Baggaley then passed me not soon after, and I quickly lost sight of the other faster Striders who were way ahead of me. At this point, I concluded it wasn’t a day for a PB.
It felt like almost all of the race was run into a strong wind, but the rectangular shape of the course just meant we got to experience it from every direction – mostly from the side! I felt a rush of relief when we briefly turned a corner and the wind was behind us, but it didn’t last very long before we turned again and got hammered from another direction. There were points where I felt sure my number was going to blow off so I tried holding it for a while, which did not help my running at all, and then my mind drifted to what I would do if it blew off, and whether it was worth finishing if it wasn’t recorded properly. A small distraction from the suffering, I suppose!
The last 300 metres or so were run on the athletics track at Quibbell Park, creating the perfect opportunity for a spectacular sprint finish for those people who had saved something for the end. I was not one of those people, and just about dragged myself over the line, the need to try and compose my face for a good finish line photo long forgotten. Despite the challenges and the distinct lack of enjoyment, I did manage to get a new 10k PB. I think the desperation for it to end meant my final km was a bit quicker!
At the end, we were rewarded with a Valentine’s cupcake smothered in thick icing (excellent) and a somewhat odd medal. The post-run consensus was that it had been a really tough race, but everyone gave it their all and most said they had enjoyed it, despite the conditions.
Special thanks to Kevin Wong for kindly lending me his jacket while I stood shivering at the end. Lesson learned about leaving my jumper in the car!
As always, it was great to see so many Striders – the sense of community at races is fantastic to be a part of.
The men’s race was won by Ronnie Wilson of Lincoln Wellington A.C. in a time of 30.22. The women’s race was won by Lindsay Skinner of Off That Couch Fitness in a time of 35.44. There were plenty of strong performances from Striders. Abbie Pearce was 4th woman in a time of 36.50 and Rob Byers was 6th in the men’s race with a time of 33.34. Kate Scott and Karen Clark secured 2nd and 3rd in the F55 category, with times of 46.49 and 49.02 respectively, whilst Richard Pegg was third V60 in a time of 45.38. In the Men’s Teams competition, Robert Byers, John Wilkinson, Seth Kirby and Luke Mair secured 3rd place with an average time of 35.21, an achievement matched by the women who also secured 3rd place, thanks to Abbie Pearse, Laura Mella, Sarah Allcard and Cara Hanson, with an average time of 42.43. Well done to all who took part; let us know if we’ve missed anyone and hopefully, we’ll see you at Dronfield on 13th March for Round 2.
Full results can be found at https://resultsbase.net/event/5875/results