So yet again what a fantastic event organised by Rob @ Believe and Achieve both for the RNLI 10k and Pieces Of Eight (8 mile)
Two weeks prior to the Great South Run this event is seen as a great bench mark for people to see how their training has been progressing and to give themselves an idea of a potential PB at one of the best organised events in the UK and also a chance to be famous on TV just like Mo Farah oppps Sir Mo Farah.
Yesterday evening I sat staring out of the window wondering when this miserable rain was going to stop and if we where going to be in for another wet one for the races on Sunday. After the Intro to Trails run a couple of weeks ago when the 10 or so that ran that morning got soaked to the skin, though it was enjoyable-ish it was not as much fun if we could have appreciated the scenery and the wildlife.
So this morning waking at 6am I was half expecting it to be overcast dark and miserable and was pleasantly surprised to see a clear sky and a hint of sunshine WAHOO.
A couple of months ago when we were all melting even at our favorite Parkrun at Southsea it was proving hard work for people and times increased to 2 or 3 minutes over normal times PB's in that heat no chance ! Though if you are one of those super human runners that did PB in them Temperatures you need a massive slap on the back WELL DONE.
To be fair anyone running a Parkrun PB in July and August needed to be applauded I was 3 minutes off mine and its not often I finish a run and seek shelter immediately in shade before I get scanned in. I as it goes quite like running in the heat but this year was pretty hard core.
So the majority of us dropped mileage and settled for the fact that we should enjoy the weather while it lasted and pick up training when it started to cool down (eventually)
The good and bad of the situation, this was one of the hottest summers on record going back as far as 1977 when we experienced a heatwave that lasted for nearly three months.
The Good we live on Portsea Island surrounded by water with some decent beaches lots of great places to get out and run, however the bad was unless you where prepared to go out and train at 4am in the morning you was going to cook. Even during the night the temperature didn't drop below 22.
So this was causing some concern ! We had seasoned runners at the club who simply lost pace we had people training for Ultra's and Marathon's that had to get mileage in which meant sucking it up and dealing with it and I know that some of them found it hard as I trained with a few.
Over the last few weeks now it has cooled off a smidge we have seen a huge increase in mileage across the club and also some great PB's at various races and Parkruns around the South Coast which all lead up to one of the biggest races on the calendar Great South Run.
This morning BFC rocked up to the Lifeboat Station at Eastney in Sunshine wrapped up against the chill in the air. The majority of us that run the course week in week out know that it can be a chilly one even when the sun shines so dressed accordingly hoodies wind proof jackets etc, I was quite surprised to see runners at 8:45am in shorts and vest with an hour to go before the race ! they must have been freezing.
So over 50 Baffinaters attended lead by our illustrious leaders Helen and Jules and as we organised to have a group photo volunteered (kindve) by Ali Southwell, she said " I'm not sure I'm going to fit everyone in ?" well there is a few of us but she took a great photo which will no doubt be bouncing around facebook and updated to a few profile backgrounds.
There was a serious element to the races today both RNLI and PO8 it was obvious that a lot of people where gauging performance for the GSR and that really went hand in hand with runners going in hunt for PB's today.
It is only right we mention the club again and the hard work by the Run Coaches and supporting members of BFC. Everybody plays their part at the club, when I first joined I had Kev Aylward take me under his wing who helped pace me to my first sub 60 minute 10k and also numerous Parkrun PB's. So I now do the same, I do my best to help others at the club try new things and push their barriers be that hills, trails or PB's.
The truth is the beating heart of this club BFC is every single member has each others back, never a prouder moment for any of us running back to the finish line to be cheered in by the BFC crew a few times I have seen people cover their ears Yep that loud. Let's be honest not only does BFC have the loudest colour vest / shirts of any club ! we also have some of the loudest people and I can mention at least two Cat Underwood and Err in Doors Amy Hedley.
So we heard the countdown to get started and once we moved away from the protection of the RNLI station we realised just how cold it actually was, me for one was bloody freezing I shouldn't really tell you this but I rarely warm up before a race well today I did for sure, someone from behind said to me "you're wasting precious energy" my reply was "It's not a marathon mate I'm sure I'll survive !!"
So off we went luckily Brett, Dan M and Gary had settled in just from the front so we had minimal traffic to navigate through for the first 400 metres.
Brett went off at a decent pace must have been a sub 7, my reckoning it was 6:45 but I was running with Dan and Gary and my thoughts as theirs was just try and keep him in our sights which up to the first K we did but simply to quick for me. Gary who had forgotten his watch asked me at mile one what pace we where running I said it was around a 7:10, dipping his head down he sped off and left me and Dan to our own devices. Dan picked up the pace obviously looking to keep Gary in his sights. Dan chased after Gary as I chased after Dan in the hope I could hang on. It was like a BFC pace train Brett Gary Dan Me if there was anyone else behind me from BFC sorry not to mention you but totally focused on trying to keep up with the Speedsters.
The support on route was brilliant and its always good to see BFC members that are not running supporting others and that's just another reason BFC stand out from the other running clubs.
So we got to the turn point at 5k welcomed by the water station, would you believe it the people running this where none other then Janice Wellstead, Laura Burns, Karen Dale, Paul Ingleby and a few others ALL BFC.
So we run, support and run water stations at events just love this club.
The return leg though hard on the legs as I had the pleasure of trail running yesterday with the Baffins Trail Division at QECP so nice and flat !! (check out the run this Sunday at 100 Acres for beginners) I was feeling my legs slightly tighten. I had run a PB last Sunday at Ageas 10k and was really keen to try and PB today as it was a relatively flat course. But after checking my time at 22:45 at 5k I felt I was chasing a lost cause. I could no longer see Dan who I had lost round the castle section so reverted back to trying to pace myself off the Garmin which I have borrowed from Sue L Dennis, My Garmin has developed a BUG and rightly so after the amount of muddy water we have gone through in the 2 years of ownership ( Check out Brutal Runs as they appear in BFC ).
Anyway back to the blog, so yes I was puffing a bit and thought maybe the ten miles I ran on Saturday may not have been such a good idea. I got to the pyramids and could see the runners heading up along the seafront to the water station. Out of no where I heard " COME ON HEDLEY HEAD DOWN GO GO GO " looking up I could see the BFC Greenies not just one or two, they where every where without even realising I upped my game, from somewhere seeing my friends or should I say running partners in crime it gave me that push to dig deep grit my teeth.
All the way back up to South Parade Pier I had shouts of encouragement and high fives from several members of the BFC in fact one missed my hand and nearly spammed me in the forehead, just as well I have ninja like reactions.
So checking my times at the pier I knew I had a chance to PB I had caught sight of Dan in the distance he was miles in front but at least I had a spot of green to chase.
So eventually got to the mile mark to be greeted by my mate Barbara Hathaway giving my last bit of encouragement before turning at Eastney swimming pool for the home stretch. Didn't really notice the wind going out but after the 10 miles yesterday and already running on near empty it was the last thing I wanted.
I had someone over take me at the Castle some young lady decent runner good form etc and I am talking about running here ! So she was my target head down dug deep managed to crank the pace up to 7:30 praying to God I could manage to keep the pace up to the end.
Soon enough I got to the 9K marker knowing I had a bit left I kicked again this time managing to catch and over take her at the 400 metre mark.
I knew the finish was round the corner I knew it was going to be close at the 200m mark that it was going to have to be a sprint finish to the end, deep breath as I turned into the home straight.
The first thing I saw was Baffins Green waiting at the finish line Brett and Dan M cheering me in giving me that little bit extra I needed to empty the tank all guns blazing Dean Schubert Style.
I finished ! Did I PB ?
Yes I did, by about 10 seconds, but this wasn't just a PB for me it was a PB for every single person from BFC who gave me shout outs, high fived me ( not the spam one ) and the lads at the finish line.
BFC has a special chemistry within its Ranks, and as it has grown it has somehow retained that beating heart that drives this club forward whilst the club grows the heart beats stronger.
I collected my medal declined the pringles ( give me water first ) and then swiftly got changed and to the finish line to cheer in my friends.
Special mentioned to Verity Walton who not only looked the part, easily the best dressed but took on her first 8 mile challenge. Also to everyone who ran today and those who PB'd.
There are lots of people to thank and almost impossible to do but let's try anyway but before I do I want to say a HUGE congratulations to Colin Southwell who came 1st in his age Cat.
Firstly the Governors for forming the club and proud they are to see what an amazing club and group of members they have.
The Support Crew, people who tended the water station took photo's and cheered us motley crew on for the 10k or 8 miles today.
Each and Every Member who ran today as always a pleasure to share some tarmac with you.
Special mention to my running buddies, Colin Southwell, Kev Aylward, Dan Mullings, Steve Parker, Alex Milham, Dan Walton.
So things we have coming up GSR obviously in 2 weeks however we have a Beginners Trail Run at 100 Acres next Sunday at 9am for 5 miles nice route and more info on my Facebook page, also the Get Together is on BFC Facebook page think we are up to 16 people attending check it out. Also after we are running the Purbrook 5 mile course.
Yet again another amazing day spent running with BFC and yet again another PB, not long now guys when we will be focusing on Brighton and London Marathon's and will have an ongoing blog to support YOU / US / BFC as we up the mileage !