The race was held in extremely hot conditions, with temperatures hitting a high of 27 degrees Celsius. The race winner was Nigel Rackham of Metros RC in a time of 36 minutes 45 seconds and first lady home was Sophie Carter in 39 minutes 51 seconds. That was not a fast time for me but my plan up until 11am that day did not involve this 10k. A friend told me they were running and encouraged me to sign up. The lure of the race proved too much and so after a relaxed morning (where I had already done an easy run and had a late breakfast) I set off to the race HQ to get an on-the-day entry.
Thankfully, when I got there I got a number and with an hour to go until the race the aim was to try and warm up gently and keep cool!
The Chalgrove Festival 10k is run in support of the annual Chalgrove Village Festival and is a really lovely day with activities like arena displays, funfair, beer tent, food and a dancing sheep. All these help make the Chalgrove Festival 10k a truly great way to spend the May Day Bank Holiday for runners and their families.
The course is an undulating 10k single lap race through villages and the surrounding South Oxfordshire countryside. The start and finish is at the Chalgrove Village Festival ground which was lovely to run back in to as everyone cheered me in.
When I started the race, I was relaxed and wanted to use the run as a training run (albeit a fast one) to help improve my speed work after months of ultra running. I set off and told myself to enjoy it too. I tried to keep pushing on and towards the end still felt strong and the hills and the heat did not bother me too much.
It was a huge confidence boost to finish first lady and feel good at the end too.
A lot of people can suffer in the heat and my advice is always to listen to your body, adjust your pace to take account of the heat, top up your fluids little and often, and top up your salts as well as your body is losing salt and water from sweat.
About the author: Sophie Carter is an ultra runner and Sundried ambassador.