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The Boscombe 10k was the final race this year in both my club championship and the local, inter-club league. It was also a race that I had targeted for my first sub-37 10k. Sub-85 at the Bournemouth Half and sub-37 at the Boscombe 10k were two goals I set myself in January and, having accomplished 83 mins in the half, it was ON for the 10k!
Perhaps I was a bit ambitious… With my 10k PB standing at 37:31 I had thought that 36:59 was achievable however, with several hills and pace sapping turns this, in hindsight might not have been the race to do it in!
The race starts at the Kings Park Athletic Stadium in Boscombe, Bournemouth and is run by local club Bournemouth Joggers. There is plenty of parking available in the AFC Bournemouth car park next to the stadium and number collection was straight forward, taking just minutes to get my pack.
The weather was fairly cold at around 6 degrees and word was that the short stretch of grass on the course might be waterlogged after a week of rain.
I went for a warm up, doing laps of the car park, followed by a couple of laps of the track before the race organisers began to call us over for the race briefing, with 5 minutes to go until the start. “Watch you don’t run over the mats”, said someone, “it might sense your ankle chips”.
ANKLE CHIP! SHEEEEEEEEET! Cue me rushing out of the stadium, racing to my car, setting the alarm off as I frantically searched for my ankle chip timer, racing back to the stadium and trying to attach the chip to my ankle as the countdown was beginning. Phew, made it just in time.
Finishing on the athletics track is a lot better than starting on it, as unless you get right to the very front you end up penned in and caught up in the crowd. So the first 400 metres was a bit of a struggle but after this there is a bit more of an opportunity to get in to your stride.
Stupidly, I hadn’t figured out what sot of pace I’d need to do to hit just under 37 minutes, all I knew was that is I was first in my club then I’d get 3rd place rather than fourth, so this was what I aimed for. I’d like to say that this made me ease off but I have never felt more exhausted in a race as this! Even by 3k I was thinking, “how much longer?!”
After you come out of the stadium there is a section along paved suburbia, before going under a subway and emerging out on to a long, gradual uphill stretch of road. This culminates in a steep hill, before twisting back down through Kings Park, back through the subway and towards to finish. By 7k I was breathing heavily and feeling like I really needed to slow down. By the time I reached the final 400 metres around the track I could do nothing more than cling on to the person 4-5 metres ahead with no hope of any overtaking on the finishing straight!
Finished in 38:35 which got me first club place but was very disappointing time-wise, being a minute slower than my PB.
Full Boscombe 10k results here