Last year I took on the Bassingham Bash 5 Mile road race for the first time. I had never raced a 5 mile distance before and had enjoyed the challenge greatly. For me, 5 miles is akin to pushing yourself hard at a parkrun, but then having to find that little extra; it’s tough but something all can strive towards. The Bassingham Bash itself is set in beautiful rural Lincolnshire near to my hometown, and this along with the quirky medal themed mug each runner receives, and the lure of cake at the finish, meant I did not hesitate to sign up for 2016.
Saturday afternoon still feels a little odd for a race – I found myself rushing to get sorted after volunteering at parkrun in the morning and then coaching football until lunchtime – but I got there! It was a warm day; however it soon became clear that the biggest challenge for us runners would be the very harsh wind whipping across the fields. Last year I had set myself a time of 37.30 and I was a little apprehensive of my chances of matching this again. This year the race landed in the middle of my current marathon training programme, add to this the conditions on the day, I knew I would need to really push my legs if I were to get close to my time.
I ran hard from the gun, picking up speed quickly and forcing my legs to fight against the strong wind. The wind was actually welcomed at times, as in brief sections of shelter the sun felt uncomfortably hot. Glancing at my watch I was pleased with the mile splits that ticked over, there was only very small variation between the miles and my legs showed no signs of slowing. I was enjoying the challenge of forcing myself to keep up the pace, and I knew I was running well, I could feel it without even really needing my watch as reference.
The last 400m or so were the biggest battle, my teeth were actually gritted as I fought the clock, and I longed to see that finish line. My watch stopped at 37.17 - a new 5 mile PB. I was very pleased and a little shocked at what I had achieved. Once all results were published I noted I had finished 12th female. Seeing some of the incredibly speedy times which were recorded by other females on the course I felt even more satisfied with my performance.
The Bassingham Bash proved once again to be a wonderful event; I especially enjoy supporting it as it is great for me to have a race like this so close to home. I often end up travelling all over the country to take part in running events, and whilst Lincolnshire does have a few, a 5 mile road race is one which you can slot into your training plan regardless of what race or event you are working towards. Thanks to Witham Runners, for organising and hosting the race again, and for doing another fantastic job of marshalling and supporting – see you in 2017!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...