Friday, 24 June 2011

Olfener Citylauf 10k

Olfen is one of the neighbouring towns to where my kids live and this year it was the 25th anniversary of their citylauf. I only decided to register for this one the last day of online registrations. I havnt done any specific 10k training or much dedicated speed or lactate threshhold training, so although i was expecting to set a new PB i knew I wasnt yet in a condition to break the 40 min barrier.

Thursday was a public holiday and the races started at 15:00 with kids events over 1.5km. My youngest competted and did really well against a large field to run in 5th in his race and take a 3rd in his age group. 1.5km in 6:16 for those little legs is pretty damn good, especially since its the longest race he's done so far.

Whilst it was sunny for the kids races it clouded over and the wind picked up as the afternoon went on, it looked like we were going to get some heavy showers during the 10k, I warmed up and went down to the start line. There were half a dozen runners from my running group also there, We wished each other luck, and lined up with 250+ others for the starters gun.

I was about 3-4 rows back from the start and it was pretty tight over the first 1km lots of having to check my step and a few banged elbows, and then just as i though it was over i got boxed in behind a couple of guys that were runnnign just a tick slower than my pace and people to either side... but eventually i made my way past them.

then i tried to settle into my race and run a constant pace, it wasnt easy with lots of twists and turns on the course and the street surfaces of cobbles and concrete paving wasnt as smooth as you would have liked, but i seemed to find my stride. The first 3-4 laps i towed the only female from my running club behind me, she tucked in behind going up the streets with a head wind. I though i might be able to help her bridge the gap to another woman running 10m in front of me, but when i added a little to the pace she couldnt hold with me. I was kind of hoping that i could help her to a new PB since at the begining of the year we both ran similar 10k times. I almost considered slowing to let her catch up again, but decided that that would put my own chances of a PB at risk.

So i set about trying to pull back the runners in front... but thats when it got confusing, because at about that point i started lapping the back runners.... in the begining it wasnt to hard to tell who was on the same lap as me... as the speed difference was significant...i managed to close up to the woman in front and a guy she was running with, and put a little spurt on to pass them through traffic and open up a little gap before returning to normal pace.... then i set my eyes on a guy in a green shirt that was ahead.

It took me a whole lap to close the gap on him, actually i think i kept my ppace constant and he was tiring... i pulled up onto his sholder, waited for the next corner and as we rounded it put a surge on to pass and open a gap up. I was then into the final lap, and started to try and wind up the pace a little, I Think i was still managing to run more or less towards my forefoot or at least not so badly on the heel, i know i was concentrating on this a bit more during this race.

The final lap it was difficult to see who was actually in front of me in the race and who was just traffic. Eventually i saw my quarry an older gentleman that i was not closing the gap on much at all. I chassed him through the whole final lap, bringing the distance down from 15m to 5m... and then on the last turn i managed to dig deep and find a bit more to pull past him and sprint to the finish line.

That i had enough left in the tank for a sprint finish shows that i didnt really pace this race as good as i could have... i should have latched onto the back of a group of slightly faster runners earlier on in the race. If id done that then i may have been able to run in under 41 minutes, but i am still very happy with 41:38 which takes a further 1:10 off my 10k PB. I came in as the 44th Man (of 211) and 6th in my age group.


  1. Great race Paul and well done on the PB.

    It's a continual learning process, trying to execute the "perfect" race. At least you now know that you can push that little bit harder in the next race.

  2. Thankyou Grellan,

    Your right it is a continual learning process, the main thing I struggle with is overcoming my own natural conservative approach to things. Especially given that Im still seeing continual performance improvement. Still Im happy with how my racing is going, all i need to do i s continue to improve the actual performances and that comes through training.