BRECKLAND 10K 07/05/2018

I wasn’t really looking forward to this race given the unseasonably hot Bank Holiday weather and the fact a lot of my friends had really struggled with GEAR the day before. On the other hand, a number of my GEAR friends had sent me messages along the lines of “How did you do 26 miles in that? I struggled with 6!” So I figured I would have to “man up” and get on with it. At least I’d get my money’s worth out of the all-day sunblock I’d bought for the marathon.

I had really enjoyed Breckland last year, the course is pretty much flat with a downhill finish from 7.5km, the route is on road but scenic and Thetford AC are a friendly club with a well-organised race. I had not only got my first sub-50 on this route, but my first sub-49 and I suppose I was disappointed that I would not be able to try for a new PB in the heat. Howard and I met up with Darren Matthewson and Lucy Walker, we have been running with them for years and recently encouraged them to join the Jags. We picked up our race numbers and relaxed in the sun outside Croxton Village Hall before the start of the race, conserving our energy as it was so hot. We met Paul Bloomfield and Caron Maidment, then had to laugh when Andy Mulligan bounced over like Tigger and suggested we all go for a warm-up run around the field. He was met with stunned silence.

The race started on the road outside the village hall and I had a quick chat with Claire Owen. I decided to take it easy for the first 2k where I knew there would be an incline, then settle into whatever pace felt comfortable in the heat and try for negative splits on the way back when I knew I’d be going downhill. I don’t usually take a drink on a 10k but the organisers had stressed that they were unable to provide water before 6km so I carried a bottle of water with an electrolyte tablet and sipped from it at every 1km. I ran the first 2km at 5.15min/km pace and increased to under 5min/km and I noticed Lucy had settled next to me to pace with me so that she wouldn’t go out too fast. We stopped to walk at the water station and I struggled to get going again but I needed a cold drink and to be able to pour a bit of the water over my head and neck.

After the water station we were then on the straight road back to the village and fortunately this was mainly in the shade of the trees. When we hit the downhill section from 7.5km I tried to pick up the pace but got stuck behind a group of runners while waiting for traffic to pass us on our side. Eventually I was able to overtake and as I hadn’t suffered any dizzy spells in the heat, I decided to sprint and managed a negative split in the last 1km, crossing the line in 50:19 – not bad in 27 degree heat!

Lucy sprinted home seconds behind me, we were the 18th and 19th ladies back out of 112 ladies, I placed 6th in my age group but Lucy came 1st in hers and won a lovely trophy! For £14 affiliated, this was a really lovely race with a nice medal and goody bag, sponsored by the local cinema. I have done this race twice now and would still go back – one of my favourites.


Image may contain: 7 people, including Vikki Harper and Andy Runner Mulligan, people smiling, people standing and outdoor


No automatic alt text available.


Andy Mulligan40.04SILVER
Howard Harper47.35SILVER
Darren Matthewson49.38FTBRONZE
Vikki Harper50.19SILVER
Lucy Walker50.32FT 2nd in age group & New Age Group RecordDiAMOND
Claire Owen55.38BRONZE
Paul Bloomfield1.16.21
Caren Maidment1.18.57