It was Folkestone 10 mile race on Good Friday, the day before I flew to my training camp in beautiful Giverola, Spain. I then spent a good two weeks at the Costa Brava and was able to train about 1400 kilometers on the bike. It was my target to train a lot on the bike because that has been my base training for many years. It is almost like coming home if I approach the road along the coast to reach the hotel. It is now the 13th time I have been to Giverola in 14 years!
But now back to the Folkestone 10. My previous PB from Canterbury was 54:13 so my goal was to stay under 54 minutes. On one had Canterbury a few hills in it and I should be slightly faster in general. The preparation went also well but I was lacking a bit of running miles because I spent more time on the bike. That aside I was very motivated for this race too because it was the Kent Championship and quite often I am missing the top spot on any championship races. My last runner-up position was only last October at the Swiss marathon championships. It was also about the last of my Winter/Spring races where the intention was to get back to where I sort of have been over shorter distances.
The course is super flat. First you have to do about a kilometer loop on grass around the starting area before you head out to the sea side. It is an out and back course along the coast. The turning point goes has actually got a few meters of ascent in it but I guess after nearly 5 miles of dead flat terrain this is just what you want.
A factor at the coast is always the wind and that could not be discounted on the day. It weren't any strong cross winds but it starts to eat on you as they just wouldn't get any easier. On the way out the wind was slightly with us but that would change once we turn around. And from there it was pretty brutal as there is just no shelter at all.
After the start there were 2 runners going out fast but you could see that this was way beyond their 10 mile pace. So I hang in there in 3rd position and made my move after on the second kilometer. Soon I was on my own and thought - ha, that went well all I have to do is to get the pace all the way around. And as I was running along the shore I spotted Charles Bruford - the Principal of our school. After about mile two I heard that I wasn't alone. Footsteps were coming closer and closer so I was soon in company of Howard Bristow. I gave him the lead and just aimed to go with his pace. It was only a few seconds per kilometer faster than mine but I had to realize after another good mile that it was to much for me as I could feel that my heart rate was getting higher and higher. Ever so slowly he pulled away from me which was really frustrating! But on a positive note it was really nice as all the people who were just having a nice day at the beach cheered us on.
I spotted that he didn't wear the extra number you get when you are running for the Kent Champion. Even though I couldn't keep up with him I thought I still have a chance to win this title.
After 5 miles you get to the park with the bit of ascending. I could see that I got closer again but as we were back down at the seafront he pulled away again. With every step I tried to keep the balance between going hard enough but not to fast to blow closer to the finish. The pace dropped around 10-15 seconds per kilometer which was due to the wind.
I reached the finish after 53:28 in 2nd position exactly 30 seconds behind Howard Bristow. I was well clear of 3rd place - David Hattersley who was on the course shouted he would estimate two minutes by the looks of it and he was pretty accurate.
It was a good way to finish the early year road races. I didn't quite get to the pace I wanted to by the end of it but on the positive note I have not been injured or anything in this period. And this was before the training camp so hopefully this will give me a bit of a boost in the right direction!
Homepage Folkestone 10 mile
Link to strava
Shoes: Scott Palani RC