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AAA Essex County 10 mile Championships

TORQ’s top duathlete is also an extremely accomplished runner. In this race he did his first mile in 4minutes 51seconds! To most that would be a great individual mile time, but to go on and do another 9miles is incredible. With form like that he obviously hit the podium again in 3rd overall and 1st Essex boy…

If anything would bring me back down to earth from the World championships in Spain, I feared it might be this 10 mile race held in the beautiful Essex town of Tiptree. Despite, or perhaps because of their tradition and history, AAA’s county championships always seem to attract the very best athletes.  This year that included Tom Payn and James Connor (2.17 and 2.18 marathon runners respectively). This isn’t so surprising since the Essex AAA have been around since 1883! Apart from the calibre of athlete these races attract, I was also slightly off-put by the course and distance.  I had only previously run a 10 mile race once before and knew that a typical Essex road race would take in winding country lanes of the kind that seem to go on forever and whilst lovely for cycling are not quite what this London boy is used to running on.

Anyway, this race of over 500 starters got off to a fantastically quick pace and a lead group of 4 (including me) went through the first mile in a crazy 4.51 – 14 minute 5k pace!  Things soon settled down after that and I managed to find a comfortable rhythm.  Mentally though, this was a tough race.  This was because I’m used to the timing and ticking off of kilometre markers rather than mile markers.  This being a 10 miler rather than a 10k, I was finding it tough to wait around 5 and a half minutes for another verification that the amount of distance left to run was slowly diminishing.

At round 7 miles in, my legs really started to lose form, but I managed to push on through and keep the pace level. At 9 miles in, I encountered the last hill of the course and managed to tough it out and was treated to a slight decline for the last 500 metres.

If I thought my suffering was over at the finish line, I was very much mistaken. Despite my tired legs I had to make 4 separate visits to the podium (that’s a lot of walking!) including, but not limited to 1st Essex individual and 3rd open race individual!

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