This was my second attempt at one of the 6 10k winter series events around Draycote water, near rugby. My thoughts of beating my first attempts time were dashed when I got there, got out of the car and felt the wind. Running round a reservoir is always going to be windy, even on a still day, but this was a bit more than that.
The race starts on top of the big dam (there are 3) and runs to the far end, where you promptly turn around 180 degrees and run along the low road the entire length of the dam. This is where you are introduced to the headwind. First time round it’s not too bad, it does slow you down a bit, but on fresh legs, it’s not too bad.
The first 5k goes quite quickly, following the low road past the other two dams. The headwind reduces by the second dam and is gone by the third. The road seems to undulate for about another 5k, but still doesn’t get you back to the big dam, because it’s actually only 2k! Getting towards the big dam you can hear the sea. That’s weird I thought, but the wind was strong enough to be causing waves to break on the beach. At about 8.5k you get back to the dam, and the headwind smacks you in the face again.
This time, it hits you on tired legs, and really kills your speed. The finish line is in sight, but doesn’t seem to get any closer. Eventually the 9km marker passes, and the bend in the dam looms. Once you’re passed the bend, it’s about 400m to the line, and possibly the slowest finish line sprint known to man!
It’s a well organised and marshalled race, and they run a race every second Sunday of the month, though not always a 10k. There is always water and sweet goods available, and I’ve picked up a snood, and a fleece ear warmer at the two races. There is also a cafe for after the race, and ample toilets. The only downside is that you have to pay extra to park on the day.