Sam leads Notts 10 success for Heanor RC

Friday night was the turn of the Notts 10 Mile, a club championship race, at the National Water Sports Centre, writes Sam Crowe.

Nine of us turned up to perform on the night, some just back from holiday and some about to go. It was a cool night and 2 ½ laps awaited us.

I have never raced anything over 10k so all day and during the race I had a little voice in my head filling me with some doubts. What if I don’t get round? What if I go off too fast and have to crawl the last half? Why did I even enter this race? Anyway, warm-up done, off we walked to the start. If you all know me by now, you will know that a nervous wee was needed, so a lovely bush was found.

Standing on the start line, we were instructed to keep to the left as those of us that did it slower than 90 minutes would be lapped. There’s that voice again, ‘I hope that’s not me’, but what if it is? Anyway, off we went. Darren Furness and I started on our merry way and found a gentleman running for Badgers. We all had a chat within the first mile, PBs and goals were mentioned, so we tried to go for it. 7.10 min per mile was the target, but when we got to mile one, the watch beeped 6:50. ‘Oh no, that’s it, this is going to be torture, I’ll never keep this up.’

We carried on, Darren not so happy we went off too fast, so eased back into his planned pace. However, this gentleman and I ploughed on. Miles 2 and 3 were great. Coach Rob and Chris (Jo Potter) were stood on the small incline, Rob handed me my energy gel but it wasn’t needed just then so I kept hold of it until later. The miles kept ticking on and the pace remained the same.

Halfway arrived, the energy gel was consumed. ‘We had this’, or so I thought, but the Badgers runner eased off and told be to carry on, which I did. At that point I put in two miles a little quicker – was I going to pay for that later? I got to Rob and Chris again with just short of 5k left and I was buzzing, I still had legs and wasn’t dying. Could I actually get round this thing and enjoy it?

I’ve got to be honest, seeing the mile 9 sign was a good feeling but then we turned to do the last mile, which felt like a wind tunnel. ‘This is going to ruin my time,’ I thought, but then I saw Rob and thought I better pull my finger out for a sprint finish, which I found in the tank.

I stopped the watch 68.33. Surely that’s not right? We predicted 71.40, I surely must have lost signal somewhere, but no, that was right and I had not only survived a 10 mile but actually enjoyed it. Following me in was Kelsey Moloney (73.56) and Jayne Lynas (74.09), which meant that Heanor women won the team prize – 12 bottles of beer each! Not such a good prize for someone who doesn’t drink but hopefully will keep coach happy.

Kelsey knocked a huge chunk off her time, which she did at the Derby 10 mile, which shows if you put the work in, you get rewarded.

Amazing result for Ryan Ball too. He flew off from the gun and was rewarded with a time of 66.09. New starter Jack Lawrence was the next man home with a time of 73.20 and Darren Furness followed Jayne in with 76.01.

Another complete women’s team was made up of Rita Fisher (83.03), Jo Potter (86.38) and Kirsty Hessy (98.19). Kirsty has never ran 10 miles before, so it was a great effort to get round. Well done to all runners who competed from the club. Hope you enjoyed your pint or two after the race!