Race: Poole Festival of Running – 10k


Two or three years ago I did this race in 28ish degree heat. It was horrendous and it was all I could do to struggle home in around 50 minutes. So for the last week I was tentatively checking the weather for signs of another heatwave…

Well it wasn’t as bad as a few years ago and residents of hotter climes may thing nothing of it, but my car thermometer hit 25 degrees (77f) on the way to the race. I ran alongside my son in the 400 metre minithon earlier in the day and it was hot!

A Festival of Running

The 10k is the main event in the day long ‘Poole Festival of Running’, with capacity for 1200 entrants. There are various children’s races in the morning, plus a 5k for those preferring a shorter distance. Add all the rides and expos and it was a very nice day!

This is the only race that I know of that begins at 2pm in the afternoon. I always find this a bit annoying as a) if it’s a hot day like this was, it’s hottest at 2pm in the afternoon and b) it’s hard to know what/when to eat at that time! (I opted for a bowl of porridge and banana at 12pm, but was STARVING by the end of the race.)

The Route

The route takes you around the beautiful scenery of Poole Park and the Whitecliff area of Poole. Half of the run is around a lake and through the park, and the other half takes you out on to a path running directly alongside the gently lapping sea.

At first glance this is a flat course however, as anyone that did it today will tell you, there are some innocuous looking but potentially tricky hills along the way!

The Race

I started in the 34-37min section and so got swept along at quite a fast pace (3:35 min per k) for the first couple of kilometres. In fact, I looked at my watch at 5k and realised I’d done it in 19:08 – a time I frequently do a full on 5k in!

It was at around 7-7.5k that the heat really started to get to me – praying for the next water stop, before realising that the next one was post-finish line! Crossed the line in 39.53, frustratingly 1 second slower than my PB.

A very enjoyable day – with my son, my wife, mum and dad all racing throughout the day, lots of entertainment for the kids and a nice ice cream van ready and waiting near to the finish line. A very organised day and race.

Next Training
Day off tomorrow, followed by getting back to the speed sessions with Poole A.C. at Ashdown on Tues evening.

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