Position: 201/6138 Time: 38:39
And it’s done, Cardiff 10K 2019 finito. We’ll get into the time and everything later, but I think finishing in the top 3.27% of the race is a pretty cool stat.
In terms of running, this week has dragged. It got to a point last weekend where I just wanted to get to the race. Trust me, I’ve been thinking A LOT about it. I even had one dream in particular that I finished the race, got a PB but didn’t have my race number on!
On Tuesday we did the two-mile time trial but during the session I had to stop. My asthma was pretty bad, or at least I thought. I think I was so stressed at the time that I tricked myself into thinking my asthma was bad when really my throat was just dry.
Luckily I was pretty much fine after. Wednesday and Thursday were steady 6-mile efforts bringing the mileage up to 34 for the week. After a brief wobble I was back on track.
Let’s take things to the day of the race now, and I found a couple of the San Dom guys to chat to after I’d gone to the toilet for what probably was the eighth time. Then I got into the start pen and things got real.
I’ve said this before, but the numbers in the race and the amount of people watching is insane. Everywhere you look there’s people cheering on the sides. Annoyingly it’s not covered as well as it should compared to something like the Hastings Half for example. Maybe I’ll have to create a website about running in Wales or South Wales because there would certainly be a market for it.
According to Strava my first kilometre beeped over at 3:37 as we entered Castle Street. It felt a lot slower considering I had to bustle past people on the side. One guy came busting past in a navy blue shirt and I very much doubt he kept that pace for the whole way through.
There are pictures of me in last years race looking around and taking in the atmosphere, but this year I was fully in the zone, race mode if you will.
Nevertheless, the first two kilometres were too fast, so much so that I thought, I might do a 5k PB along the way. Going into Llandaff Fields halfway point I hit 19:09 for 5k, “maybe a sub-38 is on,” I thought.
Also I took one of the waters being handed out by volunteers, intentionally choosing one without a cap before chucking it over myself. I felt there was no time to be taking a bottle and losing time by unscrewing it.
For some reason, I remember Llandaff Fields part flying by. Then it was onto Western Avenue and right onto that long road which goes through Pontcanna Fields. I was starting to feel the heat, having run a relatively fast 5K already it was time to dig deep. Seeing my mate Kevin at this point gave me a much-needed boost.
My Strava from the race is all over the shop, it says I ran the first 5K in 18:54 when my chip time for the first half was 19:09. Either way, I was starting to struggle and I’m sure if I was watching myself this is where my form got a little lax.
Going past Cardiff Castle I really wasn’t feeling great, but a combination of remembering how much emphasis I’ve put on this race got me through this part. According to Strava my heart rate for the last four kilometres was 199, 199, 199, 200. Realistically I don’t think that’s humanly possible, I was tired but not that tired.
North Road seemed to go on forever and by the time I’d turned into the finishing straight I didn’t have many beans left. In my pre-race thoughts I had a controlled blast to the finish, but what actually happened was that I gave a sprint, slowed down, then sped up again. Meanwhile, my Mum was shouting next to a cameraman who apparently jumped a mile! Kudos to my sister for taking a video of my finishing straight but it’s way too messy to put on Instagram!
And that was that. I didn’t even look at the clock but my chip time was 38:49 and gun time was 38:39. Interesting my 10K time on Strava was 38:16, but that’s a gripe for another day!
Once I finished I was buzzing, then I saw John who was also buzzing for smashing his sub-40 goal. Simon and Andy then joined us for a post-race dissection.
I was a bit miffed about the time at first because I thought I’d run a 38:23 – the time when I stopped my watch after crossing the finish line. I think what must’ve happened is that I started my watch 100 or so metres after going past the start line. Either way 38:39 is what’s in stone now as my 10K PB. Shaving 6:30 minutes off last years Cardiff 10K and 2:40 off my overall 10K time is decent though, I’ll take it.
As I’ve said, the mainstream media coverage of this has been poor, so congratulations to Jake Smith of Cardiff AC to win in 29:30, narrowly beating Matt Clowes by three seconds. In terms of San Domenico well done to all members that ran, including Dan Hamilton and Luke Williams who ran 31:04 and 31:50 respectively.