My first time at the local Brill Hilly 10k and only the second running of this race organised as a fund raiser for The Intsika Trust. I didn’t expect to run particularly well what with an 18 mile long run in my legs from 2 days before but was vaguely hoping for sub 50 minutes allowing for the long climb promised towards the end.
In fact the climbing had my heart rate up before I’d even reached the start, it’s been many months since I cranked the fixie up to Brill and I was glad I left myself plenty of time to recuperate before the actual running started. I followed the signs and rode over a field, following what looked like our approach to the finish, and locked my bike up next to Brill Sports and Social Club. A small venue but with sufficient loos and hot drinks for those that wanted. The field was small but buzzing with a mix of serious runners, kids for the supporting events, a chap in fancy dress with an umbrella, and it all felt well organised with bag drop arrangements and a stall selling energy gels and stuff.
Ten minutes to eleven and we all followed a marshal down some back route to the start – on the road at the top of the hill by Brill’s windmill. A fit looking runner was practising his hill finish up the road, Chiltern Harrier’s Eddie O’Gorman I think going by the shirt. It was apparent the first mile was going to be the fastest! A bit of a talk from the organiser then off we went, I quickly realised I was better off putting a couple of minutes in the bank while I could so opened my stride a bit. I passed a few and a few passed me as we found our legs. Soon right at the crossroads and continuing downhill though less steep. I managed the first 2 miles averaging 7:15 minute miles so a bit in reserve for later.
We continued along flatter lanes, through Luggershall where we turned back southwards to regain Brill. A couple of 7:50 miles so I was optimistic for my sub 50. Soon the road started climbing, gently at first but I knew what was coming so let myself ease off. A few passed me as we approached the crossroads that marked the start of the climb proper. I know this road from rocketing down it on the bike, it’s called Tramhill from when Brill used to have a small railway – the station was at the bottom though, no railway ever went up here.
I took it easy running on my forefoot. A chap stormed passed then walked so I re-passed. I tried to focus on the Oxford Tri bloke in front. For some reason I’d confused myself into thinking 10k was 6.1 mile not 6.2 so 50 minutes seemed still just possible. Then I spotted the 9km marker up ahead at the top of the hill and realised it wasn’t going to happen.
At the top I sped up anyway, passed Brill shops and the top of Brill road which I’d cycled up earlier. Passed the car park then onto the grass for a dash at the finish. The result was 51:05 – 82nd of 142 runners – so not very impressive but I was happy to have paced myself right. A lovely village run which I hope to do again (though a pity it’s the same weekend as the White Horse Half).
Meanwhile I’ve been buying second hand jeans. I try and remove leather decorative bits to save any potential ‘you’re not a proper vegan, you’ve got a leather patch’ type comments from the trogs. After making a bit of a mess of it I had a good look at the Wranglers patch I’d just detached and thought it looked all too smooth for leather. Anyway wouldn’t it show where it had been washed? So I did the burn test – pretty conclusive that this patch has it’s origins in an oil well not a cow – leather doesn’t burn well at all, the patch went up like the piece of plastic it is!