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This was the inaugural Oliver Fisher 10km held in the delightful Capstone Country Park in Kent and what a little corker of a 10km it was. Now let me start at the beginning … on the Thursday before the race I decided that it was important to finally go to see the physiotherapist about my hip problem (something that only started after I took up cycling). Anyway, I he decided that if his general pummelling would get me across a 10km line I’d sign up for the race. Well fellow runners the good news was that a combination of acupuncture and pummelling did indeed free up all the muscles and I was able to run.

The night before the race I decided I’d loosen up the limbs with a little 4km run and this set me up quite nicely for deciding whether I was going to turn up and rock this one out, the 4km was slow and steady on the tarmac of London, the race was very different – this perhaps is what you get for not reading about the race or the profile or even the ground you’ll be covering.

Saturday morning rolled around and I headed off to Gillingham and Capstone Park feeling rather pleasant, there was a light wind, conditions were damp but not torrential and it was only 10km. I picked up my race number and hid back in the car, the autumnal morning was rather getting to me and there was still an hour before kick off.

With 15 minutes to go I started a gentle warm up and thrust myself through the wet grass and let it whip around my legs, lovely and then disaster as I crossed a very wet bridge – I slipped off and straight down the little embankment. Annoyingly I landed on my hip and I’d tried to save myself by also falling on my wrist. With 7 minutes to go before the gun went off I was a little embarrassed and also a little sore, however, I dusted myself off and took my place near the back of the group.

In my head I had assumed this would be a PB course! no idea why but I imagined, flat, fun and fast – what I got was wet, hilly and challenging and I was incredibly grateful for this. There was a huge sense of delight as I raced my way through the crowd and wound my way into the secondary pack of runners, catching them at about the 1km marker and although I knew I wasn’t going to keep pace with them for long it was nice to be able to see the leaders for a little longer than normal. Hitting the first hill I went at it hell for leather and attempted to make the first few kilometres count.

But i discovered I was much more interested in the scenery and having a bit of a laugh and so I chatted with a number of my fellow runners and just had a good time. As I turned into the final corner of lap one I saw the final hill which I’d have to do twice and as I turned into it I gave it all I had but then as a rather cruel twist I saw the other runners walking the bugger. And yes I slowed to a pace more associated with my injured crawl back from an ultra marathon.

With lap 2 I therefore knew what was coming up and I was able to pace the distance, prepare for the hills and punch it when there was an opportunity and with that knowledge I actually ran the second half of the race a little faster than the first and as I thrust myself forward for my sprint finish I knew that I had achieved my primary aim which was a tough trail run in under an hour (actually about 57 minutes). Not a fast course given that the leader only actually did it in about 40 minutes but it was a lovely race.

I have not a single complaint about the race, it’s organisation or the medal and Tshirt – it was a £15 race with a medal, tech Tshirt and a great route on a Saturday morning, seriously if this one runs again I hope to see you all on the starting line supporting a fantastic event.

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There’s nothing like the wind in your hair, the sweat dripping down your face, the dipping in front of a Japanese tourist who unforgivably got in your way or racing the traffic lights hoping like hell that you aren’t going to get flattened by the number 73 bus winding its way up to Ilford. There’s nothing like it at all and more importantly there’s nothing like hitting 4km in under 16 minutes, I’ll admit not far under 16 minutes but it was under. After months of injury it just felt good to be back and making headway and I weaves in and out of London’s notoriously busy Zone 1. Tonight me and my MV2 were on fire, we finally produced the goods and we are adding distance too, 7 miles were done last weekend and I’ve done a couple of 5 milers – my first half marathon of the autumn season is still 16 days away … I can do this, I’m mad enough to think I can get ready in this time and tomorrow I’m going to prove it by kicking all sorts of arse in the hills around my home.

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