The Cross Border Challenge (And Pacing Problems!)

Yesterday, the 29th July, saw the first running of the Cross Border Challenge 10K, organised by GB Events Ltd.

I arrived at the registration area with my support crew (the ever supportive other half and the girls!) and then queued for the bus to be transported to the start in sunny Scotland. Unfortunately, the seats were already full by the time myself and my cousin, Ali, were crammed on and so we had to stand for the duration.

We arrived at the start which was at The Garden House Hotel in Gretna and were able to assemble in the reception area to keep warm and use the proper toilets rather than the vile, smelly portaloos outside.

We went outside and had a little warm up jog. Despite rain being forecast; it was dry and very sunny. It was already feeling hotter than I’d like – anything over 10C and I struggle (Hopeless!)

Anyway, we assembled at the start at 9:55am, ready for the race to begin at 10am. The gun went and we were off! As usual I started too fast; it’s so easy to get dragged along by the quicker, fitter runners. Whereas they know they can sustain the pace for the duration of the run, I know that I can’t and should really know better by now!

Courtesy of Smarthair H2O on Flickr

The first half of the race went well but I knew I’d gone off too quickly, especially because of the uncomfortable heat. There was absolutely no escaping from the glare of the sun and I really struggled because of it. I caught up with a member of the Tri club and managed to pace myself with him. Another member of the club caught us and it really helped to have them there, otherwise my pace would have slowed even more.

Running often involves a huge mental battle; fighting to silence that voice in your head that is screaming at you to just end the pain and walk. It takes a huge effort to ignore that but I was lucky to have those two guys to run with for the rest of the race.

Miles 4 and 5 were a struggle – the route proved hillier than I expected and the heat was the real killer for me. However, I kept going, didn’t walk and even managed a sprint finish! As soon as I saw the finish line, and my family cheering me on, I found some speed in my weary legs and completed the run strongly 🙂

So, no PB on this occasion but I’d worn my new shoes and they felt great. Very light on my feet but nicely cushioned. And pink!

My New Shoes: Brooks Glycerin 10

I did enjoy this race and I hope it becomes an annual event. Starting in one country and ending in another is pretty cool! I just need to start pacing my races better so that I’m not struggling so much in the latter stages of the race.

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