This is the first of two posts on the Asda Foundation Bury 10k 2017. To read my review of the race itself, check out my race review here!
The day is here. I wake up on the morning of the second annual Asda Foundation Bury 10k, the nerves are kicking in. To combat the nerves of race day, I always plan a rough guide of how my morning will go. On Sunday, as with any race day, I had a plan.
The race is due to start at 09:30, in order to eat well, I plan to get up early, too early for a Sunday. My alarm goes off on cue but I am lying in wait. I have been awake, tossing and turning since 05:30. I can’t settle down. My mind is buzzing with excitement. The race day nerves kick in. Have I done enough training? Will it continue lashing down with rain? Will I beat my target of 50 minutes?
Wake up, shave and get ready. I wonder why I’ve set my alarm so early. There are two and a half hours until I have to be at the start line and surely some of that could be spent in bed! I remember waiting around at the start of the 10k last year and feeling really cold. The unpredictable weather means that I don my fleece, I won’t remove the fleece until just before the race starts. My long sleeve top and tracksuit bottoms are on standby just in case I need further protection from the cold but I stick to my original plan. I pull my blue Karrimor top from the radiator, my blue running shorts and warmer tracksuit bottoms follow. Race day has begun.
I have never found a better pre-run breakfast than scrambled eggs on toast. It’s simple to make, doesn’t sit heavily on my stomach and allows me to concentrate on the task at hand. Overnight oats are lush when I don’t have time to prepare something but I daren’t risk the consequences of eating something high in fibre just before a 10k. I’ll let your imagination do the rest!
The scrambled eggs are perfect but I let my toast catch under the grill. People often ask why I prefer dark brown toast. I don’t. I just can’t seem to judge it.
My phone buzzes.
Don’t forget your safety pins.
Remind myself to ask where they are when everybody else gets up. I always forget my safety pins.
Sit and catch up on Sky Sports News to kill time. I always hate this part of race day. I’m tempted to have a nap but decide that it’s a bad idea. Why can’t I just get started?
In a state of pre-race nervousness, wonder where I’ve put my running shoes. Wonder if I’ve drank enough water and whether I’ve eaten too much or too little. Resist the temptation to have a coffee. That can only end badly.
Look down and realise that my shoes are on my feet where they’ve been all morning. Run around the house doing last minute checks: Do I have a water bottle, towel and my race number? Ask my mum where I can find safety pins! For once, I won’t forget them.
Set off for Bury. Road closures are in place to ensure the route is clear in plenty of time and I’m taking no risks. The journey down to the Argos car park is uneventful. We arrive at 08:40, a full fifty minutes before the start of the race. I start wondering if things are going a little bit too well!
Meet up with the rest of the team who have started congregating in Costa Coffee. We chat about our estimated finishing times, training (or lack of) and have a good catch up before the main event. There seem to be lots more runners than last year and we struggle to find a table, eventually settling for one right at the back.
I become envious of everybody drinking coffee and decide to do a lap of The Rock. I’m joined by at least ten other runners doing similar zig-zag routes across the otherwise desolate outdoor shopping centre. Everything feels good. My legs are loose and I’m grateful for the short 2 mile warm up I did the day before.
Somebody asks if we want our photograph taking before or after the event. Unsurprisingly we all prefer the idea of a before shot (I wonder why!) and head outside. There are more of us in The PAT Pacers team than last year and it takes a few minutes to get everyone into place. It’s cold and I’m still wearing my tracksuit bottoms.
Head back into Costa to leave my tracksuit bottoms behind and make one last visit to the toilet. I’m not allowing anything to slow me down today. Costa has emptied out and I leave my belongings behind with The PAT Pacers supporters who have kindly offered to take all our bags whilst we hurtle through the streets.
My first sight of the start line. I’m right at the back of the two thousand or so runners taking part in this year’s race. I follow another of the PAT Pacers through the crowd, weaving in and out until we are satisfied. Level with the 55-minute pacer, we decide to stop moving forward. This will do. I know now that I’ve got work to do in the first mile. I need to work my way forward if I have any chance of a personal best. My chances of a sub 50-minute race rest on setting a good pace in the first two miles. I bound up and down.
I jostle in the crowd as the starting pistol fires. For the first few seconds, nothing happens. Then we start walking, then jogging towards the start line. I try not to trip over people in front of me. I bound up and down energetically. This is it. This is the start of the second Asda Foundation Bury 10k.