On Wednesday night 3 of us – John Edgar, Caroline and myself – made the trip down to Irvine for the Marymass 10k. I had run the race last year in horrible (wet) weather, and this year was thankfully much more pleasant.

We arrived at Irvine Sports Club and thankfully bypassed the queue to enter as we had all done so online, got our numbers and our free caps. Interestingly last year Irvine gave away a free water bottle to all competitors (after we did the same thing earlier that year at the Nigel Barge), this year they gave us a cap (after we gave all the 2010 Barge runners a cap). For the Nigel Barge 2011, I propose we give away a Maryhill thong and see if they again follow suit…?!

There was a slight change to the course this year as there had been complaints that last years race was a little short (hence why I was suprisingly fast last year then – 40.57). Caroline and I were aiming for around 42-43 mins which would be a pb for her while John, in only his second ever 10k was aiming for around 50 mins (which would also be a pb).

It was about a 5 minute jog from the changing/parking to the start, but we got there in plenty of time only to be told there were still people registering and so the race would be delayed for 5-10 minutes. No hassle – just a little extra time to do some strides/warm up.

Although some of you may find this hard to believe considering my past races, Caroline and I started at a nice controlled pace, running the first km in 4.10. We kept going at about this pace but noticed our times drop off slightly from our 4.15 target as we neared 5k. With Mick’s advice, “run the first half easy, don’t even start racing till you’ve past halfway”, ringing in our ears, we kept going unconcerned. Just after the 6k mark, a group of 4 or 5 runners were coming back to us and we realised that we were keeping pace while they were slowing, so at this stage we sped up a little to pass them and just tried to maintain this pace till the end. The penultimate km was tough going into the wind, but it was all worthwhile as we then got to turn and run the last km with the wind at our backs. I managed to just stay ahead and finnish in 42.32, with Caroline right on my heels with a stunning PB of 42.43 and 4th female overall. The online results currently have us mixed up, but upon contacting the organisers they were able to confirm from their photos that there had been a mistake (either that or Caroline is a tall bearded man). Our km splits (in case anyones interested) were 4.10, 4.14, 4.21, 4.23, 4.19, 4.20, 4.11, 4.17, 4.15, 4.02 giving us a nice negative split for the 2nd half of the race.

John came flying in not long after in a superb shiney new personal best time of 49.06, despite receiving mixed messages as to when to start his final sprint from Caroline and I.

The winner was Stuart Gibson of Ron Hill Cambuslang in 32.09, with Sarah Munn of Glasgow University HH 1st female in 41.21.

A great race, 2 brilliant performances and a great night had by all.

And to top it all off we were greeted with a glorious west coast sunset, followed by a cold shower and a trip to McDonalds.

Stephen Jones, 72nd, 42.32
Caroline Jones, 74th, 42.43 (PB)
John Edgar, 146th, 49.06 (PB)

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