Monday, 5 May 2014

Liverpool Spring 10k

Ingredients for a perfect Bank Holiday weekend morning: hot cross buns for breakfast, a 10k run through a beautiful park and a friend to chat with the whole way round. The Liverpool Spring 10k is aimed at "joggers, plodders and club runners" and I was really looking forward to experiencing a proper Liverpool welcome at this friendly race around Sefton Park.

I spent Saturday at work basically dreaming about the pasta bake Helen had promised to have ready when I got to her flat, where I was spending the night. After a long day at work, dinner did not disappoint, and nor did the gossip! After an early(ish) night we breakfasted on tea and hot cross buns and crossed the road to Sefton Park, where the start area was already filling up with a combination of highly experienced-looking club runners, fun runners, charity runners and their supporters.

We weren't planning on getting round very fast. Helen's currently doing the busiest job in the world, so her training hadn't been very consistent, and I was still on a high from my 10-miler last week and was happy just to get out and enjoy an easy-paced run, so we positioned ourselves towards the back of the pack and amused ourselves taking start line selfies until the start of the race.

It turned out to be a lovely race. There were plenty of supporters, cheerful marshals, a samba band and lots of gorgeous scenery in and around Sefton Park. Helen and I chatted all the way round, which made the miles fly by. It was the first race I've ever run with someone else and, although it drops a race's PB potential somewhat, it's a lovely way to spend a morning!

To be honest, I'm not sure whether this race would ever be likely to hold much PB potential, even if you don't amble around taking the odd walk break, as we did. There are quite a few narrow areas on the course and, even at our speed, we spent a fair amount of time weaving around other runners - my Map My Run app thought I ran nearly 11km overall. Having said that, it's a beautifully flat course, and if you start near the front it might be possible to get around quite smoothly. 

We picked up the pace a little bit in the last few kilometres and started picking off plenty of runners in front of us. As we approached the finish line the route became absolutely packed with supporters, and to make myself heard I had to shout at Helen to sprint for the finish line! We crossed the line together in 1:11:39 and picked up our medals, technical T-shirts (huge because all the small ones had already been taken) and goody bags. While the medal is always a brilliant thing to pick up, my favourite thing was the sherbet dip dab in the goody bag - nice touch!

All in all, it was a fantastic race - well organised, really friendly, and genuinely aimed at all abilities - the winner (who went whizzing past us just before we reached the 6km mark - he was already at 9km) finished in 31 minutes, and there were still people being cheered across the finish line when we were walking home half an hour after finishing. Definitely a race to add to my diary next year!

Thanks to Helen for providing most of the photos in this post - I am a rubbish blogger who cannot take a selfie and only managed to take about 3 photos the entire day!