I woke this morning feeling a little bit fragile. The two paracetamol and vitamin C taken as I went to bed and again when I woke, briefly, at 6.30am did not totally stave off my hangover, and as I cooked bacon and eggs for the children and our friends I did wonder if I would make it out of the house. But when you have planned to do something with someone else you can't let them down, so I left the house at 11am, trying to hold body, soul and stomach contents together.
The atmosphere was informal as we gathered in the clubhouse, there were only about 60 or 70 foolhardy people there, the race was started by a lady with the most amazingly shaggy furry boots ever, we were told to stay off the grass and then off we set. Being an airfield, the route around the peri-track was very flat. I set off well, running the first third of a mile *far* too fast (approx. 5.5 min/mile pace) and made an effort to slow down. The field was very spread out, and by 1 mile I was in 6th place, a long way behind the winner but with a huge distance between me and the nearest person behind me. I'd had a bit of a chat with him as, although I don't know him, we'd run bits of the Alton 10 last May together, so it only seemed polite to say hello as first he overtook me and then I overtook him. We both agreed we were running too fast! How I managed it is a mystery - I had a couple of moments when I thought I was going to lose the contents of my stomach!
I maintained my position in 6th place for the last 2 miles, I'd like to have overtaken the only woman ahead of me, but, in my defence, she was younger than me and looked much fitter! Being a flat course I could see all the runners ahead of me as we made our way around the runway. A small 'plane taxied and took off while we were running - I didn't expect that as I thought that the reason the race was held on New Year's Day was because the airfield was closed.
As I approached the finish line I picked up the pace and finished in 23mins 21seconds - a personal best for 5k. I had thought that I would set a slow pace, due to self inflicted malaise, that I could then take pleasure in beating later in the year. Not sure if I'll beat this one for a while!
Coffee in the clubhouse after the race with my friend, she was running for the first time since 1991 - she achieved the first of her new year's resolutions before lunchtime! I love running and runners! There can't be many sports where you get as big a cheer for coming last as you do for winning.
All in all, a nice little race. I'll probably do it next year!
Happy 2011 to you all.