The title of this blog is slightly stretching the truth… I’ve actually taken part in races this season already, but they were a stair challenge, and Desert Warrior, so I don’t lump them in the same basket 😉
So, with that in mind, my first actual road race took place this past weekend – it was a 10km that started off at Barasti (and for those Dubai peeps reading this – no, we did not go for a beer afterwards, even though that would have been wonderful!)
It was the first time that I was entering this particular race so it was completely new to me, but my friend Nat who also ran it has done the race a few times. They decided to change the route this year for whatever reason and although I have nothing to compare it to, I thought it was a great route – it seemed very fast!
Unfortunately I hadn’t planned this race very well… a few weeks back I heard that one of my favourite South African bands (Prime Circle) were going to be playing here in Dubai so I made plans to go watch them on Thursday night. Then a couple of weeks later I registered for the race, not quite realising that it was THE NEXT MORNING – Friday!
Thursday arrives and I know that I have to take it easy, and try get as much as sleep as possible that night (knowing full well that it’ll only be a few hours no matter what.) Well, it ended up being a whopping 3.5 hours! Thankfully I was well-behaved and only had 3 beers during the night 🙂
Anyway, Friday morning my alarm goes off, I drag myself out of bed, make breakfast and wait for Nat to arrive, and then we head off to the race.
There were sooo many people milling about at the start line! We got our warm-up out the way and then headed over to the start line. The horn goes off and so do we – Nat way out in front of me and me thinking I’m keeping it nice and slow so that I don’t burn out too quickly. I was quite concerned that I would not finish this race under one hour.
I get to the first kilometer and boom! 5:31 pace. Way too fast I tell myself. Time to slow down. Second kilometer – 5:33. Whoops! But the thing was that I did not feel like I was going fast at all. Once again I tried to slow down a touch, having my 3rd kilometer done in 5:49 (which ended up being my slowest km!) I just kept going… it felt fabulous 🙂
Just before 9 km’s I really started to feel it – my lungs were starting to burn (this was officially the farthest I’d run since about May!) and I was getting tired. But I would not stop. Only 1 km to go… so I pushed, and as I rounded the last corner which is approximately 100 m to the finish, I gave it my all and finished super strong – in a time of 57:44!
Boy was I happy with that!
We hung about after the race for a bit to watch the awards, and then headed home for some very well-deserved sleep! One more medal to add to the collection 🙂
I didn’t take many photos on the day, but here are a few of Nat and I buggering about a bit – our bib numbers were 173 and 174 respectively… completely coincidental!