What do you pay for when you enter a race? Costs vary hugely, as do expectations. Some want all the bells and whistles, some are happy with some handy public conveniences and water and happily tick a box that offered a discount if you don’t get a medal. But for me, one of the less tangible but more valuable gains you get from races is a dose of adrenaline. In races, the pace that was unsustainable for a mile earlier that week suddenly seems easy for a 10km. However low key the race, it’s almost impossible not to lift your game a little on the day.
I mention this as I finished my long progressive run yesterday with a 10km effort. The Nice Work race was everything I love about low key, local races: great organisation, cheery marshals, a nearby playground (well, my kids were watching …) and a beautiful course. I even came home with wine and a voucher for finishing third. But more to the point, just being in the race meant I was able to sustain marathon pace for a lot longer than I’d ever have been able to on my local streets – having run 20km before the start – with no one to try and keep up with, or wave cheerily from the playground.
If my 35km for the day felt like a long way, it was dwarfed, however, by the info on @Redbikeredshoe’s tweet – last week, Guardian running club members on Strava ran around the entire world. Obviously if we’d been a bit more organised, we could have done that as a relay (I’m thinking treadmills on boats for the watery bits..) but nevertheless, 25,000 miles is pretty good going, team! And for anyone on Strava who hasn’t joined us yet, contribute your miles here.
So over to you. What did the weekend hold for you – racing, parkrunning or nursing a niggle? As always, share your triumphs and woes below the line.