October took me to Lancaster for the Jailbreak 10k. Starting close to the castle and finishing in the castle – I was really looking forward to it.
This race fell on ‘Halloween weekend’. Meaning, my friends (and I guess a lot of people) had planned a night out on the Saturday to celebrate. Yes, I went out. I got out for half 10 straight from work, and got home at 2am Sunday morning. Which of course turned into 1am because of the clocks going back. That was great.
Anyway, I only did this because the 10k started at 2pm on the Sunday, giving me plenty of time to sleep and prepare myself! I woke up actually feeling pretty good after 7 hours of sleep, and made sure to drink plenty of water as well as having a good breakfast before leaving for Lancaster.
Arriving in Lancaster
It took just under an hour to drive up, and oh wow, Lancaster is beautiful! Such a pretty place. We got a little lost trying to find a car park, but managed to get one pretty close to the castle and headed straight up. We were quite early and managed to fit ourselves into a castle tour before the race started, and it was such a good tour. We all really enjoyed it – even my mum who tends to groan when my dad mentions visiting a castle or anything to do with history. More to come on that anyway – watch out for next week’s blog post.
After the tour I headed straight to the starting line.
The Starting Line
Oh boy was this a walk. I mean it wasn’t very far from the castle but it was down a big hill – and we knew we’d be running back up that hill at the end of the race! We probably walked for 5 minutes or so down a footpath surrounded by trees and with the castle to our right. It was a cycle/walking path, and there were plenty of people out as well as us runners.
The start line was the most relaxed I’ve ever seen. I think under 200 people ran, which is actually probably one of the smallest I’ve taken part in. We were basically just stood on a footpath with a guy sat on a wall with a flag. Ready to signal go. That’s not to say it wasn’t organised – it felt very well run. We started on time, and thankfully there wasn’t much congestion as we ran.
After running over a bridge, and over the River Lune, we ended up on a cycle/walking path very similar to the one we’d previously walked down. This was to be the route, and it was simply a run out and back race. This part was flat, and such a relief knowing what was to come at the end.
To be honest, I struggled during this race because my stomach just felt so tight and crampy. I still managed a good time, and I was happy, but I know I could have done better. I guess the alcohol from the night before (and more than 12 hours ago by this time!) was still affecting me!
I was roughly 3-4km into the race when the leader passed me, on his way back. Super, crazily fast.
Getting To The Finish
The journey back was a little strange for me. I felt pretty good, but I wasn’t really managing to get my pace back to under 6 min/km. I also got overtaken by a guy in a blow up giraffe suit so you know…
After the straight route, I was trying to mentally prepare myself for this run back up the last two hills. It didn’t go too well. I slowed right down, and actually managed to run a lot of the hill. I made it up to the photographer and then walked the rest, once I’d passed him. Obviously. When I got to the top of the hill I got myself back running, and enjoyed the slight downhill before having to go back up the hill to the castle itself. I mean you can see the slant on the first photo, and that’s not even taken from the bottom. Add in the cobbles and well, I’m surprised I made it up!
It helps of course when you suddenly hear ‘GO ON KATIE’ being shouted from the corner. Thanks mum. She always cheers for me as I go past. That’s what parents are for eh?
All in all, it was a brilliant day out. I loved being able to explore the castle and run in a new place. We were also blessed with lovely blue skies and a bit of sunshine, although it was still quite cold out. Running in shorts… I think this may be the last time this year. Too cold for that! I don’t know how people do it in all weather. I’m not brave enough.