Along with the Southern and National XC, the Eastleigh 10k was a major target for spring 2012 and a significant fixture in my pre-London build up. It is also a fixture in the Hampshire Road Race League (a series of road races held throughout the county), and completing the race would see me having participated in 7 (out of 12) fixtures and therefore be eligible for an individual placing.
While in Lanzarote, I did an 8*1km session, averaging about 3 minutes per repetition, and that, along with my marathon specific training, provided me with the confidence to realistically challenge a 10k time close to 30 minutes. With very little wind and not too warm, conditions were perfect on the day and certainly good for setting a personal best.
The gun went and I led a large group up to about 2k, after which 3 of us (Tommy Davies, Matthew Dunigan and myself) broke away and put some distance between the main pack and us. There is a small hill in the third kilometre which resulted in a ‘slow’ 3:15 split however, despite clocking 2:56 for the 4th kilometre and the equivalent downhill section, that time was never recovered. I upped the pace very slightly at 6k and started to edge away from the second placed athlete.
The local support was great and that, coupled with the boost from being out in the front, helped me maintain the 3 min/kilometre pace up to 8k. Essentially it was me against the watch for the final 4k, and I knew that I’d have to put in some 2:55 kilometres in order to go sub-30.
It wasn’t going to happen this time, partly due to loosing focus over the last couple of kilometres, and also for not putting the time in early on to compensate for the hill. However, I still managed a 19 second pb and I’m sure a sub-30 10k is not too far away….perhaps at the Bupa 10,000m in May.
There is a video of the race here