Monday, 7 November 2011

Plymouth 10km

After last week working at the Great South I was looking forward to racing myself at the Plymouth 10km. The evening before in true Kenyan fashion I cooked myself and my dad ndengu and ugali (with maize flour from Eldoret) to "make me strong" for the forthcoming race. It was my dads first experience of ugali and I think he was pleasantly surprised!

Unga wa Ugali
Up bright and early Sunday morning as the start of the race was at the rather unsocial time of 8.15a.m.! When I arrived in Plymouth I went to pick up my race number and was told I was running for the England team, bonus!! I knew there was an England team competing but didn't know I was going to be part of that team, it always gives you that little bit of extra motivation when your running for your country so this was definitely a good start to the day. The elites were well looked after by the race organisers which is always nice. When we lined up for the start of the race it was obvious it was going to be a hard battle between the English and the Welsh team and it turned out to be!

After a relatively modest 1st km, Dewi Griffiths of the Welsh team pushed hard getting himself a lead of about 20m quite quickly, a group of 4 including myself stayed together but the gap to Dewi grew to nearly 80m by about the 5km mark. The course was on an out and back route and after about 6km we turned to come back, the gap to Dewi was starting to fall but unfortunately for me two of the guys I was running with started to drop me :-( Luckily I dug deep and started to pull back the gap on any uphills I encountered (all those hills in Torquay and Iten have obviously done some good!) and with about 1km to go we caught and overtook Dewi and it looked as though the win would come from one of Jonny Gilby (England), Phil Matthews (Wales) or myself. With 200m to go I took the lead and sprinted all out to the finish winning by 2 seconds from Phil in 30.35. Happy Days!

Myself with the womens race winner Kate Roberts
After a warm down, an interview with radio Devon and the prize giving we headed back to Torquay to fill up on some more ugali. Maybe this is the secret to why the Kenyans are so fast!!

On a separate note, a huge congratulations to Adharanand Finn who not only smashed his marathon pb in the New York City marathon running 2.55 but also broke his half marathon pb on route as well!! Well done mate.

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