Ever since a child I’ve had a love of aircraft and as you can probably tell I like a bit of a challenge, so it’s not surprising that a single character tweet is all it took to convince me to enter a run called the “Spitfire 10K” at an RAF museum.
In the days of ultra marathons and Ironman triathlons some may say that 10k (6.2 miles) isn’t that much of challenge, but as someone with a heart condition and predominately being a cyclist I find running considerably difficult. When I am running my heart rate goes up much quicker and higher, so to maintain a rate that I am comfortable with I have to run at a slower pace or at times even walk. The important thing for me is taking part and that it doesn’t stop me from getting outside.
As per usual it was an early start on Sunday morning as I wanted to get to RAF Cosford early in order to be able to park on the site, rather than use the park and ride service. It was shortly after 8am that I met up with Roland and Sara from ACE (After Cardiac Event) Runners in the museum cafe, we had previously spoken a lot on twitter but this was the first time we had actually met. A little while later after tea/coffee and with cardiac histories exchanged we headed for the safety briefing and the start line by Hangar One.
With the briefing complete it was only a couple of minutes later that we were away and running.
I got carried away with a large group at the start (I’m in the red t-shirt towards the back of the group in the photo above) and as a result set off at far quicker pace than I should have done.
Having run past the museums outdoor exhibits and completing a lap of the hangers it was down onto the airfield past several Jaguars, including Cosford’s “Spotty Jag”.
With the quick pace, for me at least, I completed the first mile in just over 10 minutes, my normal mile pace is closer to 13 minutes.
I was about a third of the way (2 miles) into the run when the race leader passed me coming back the other way (he was at 5 miles!). Rather appropriately for an RAF based event he was runner number 633 and went on to win with a time of just over 36 minutes.
Once onto the airfield the route followed the taxi way to the far end of the runway, up and back down the runway before returning along the taxi ways back to the start/finish line.
This is only my second ever running event and I was hoping to complete it in 1 hour 20 minutes, my first mile paced caused me to slow towards the end and I crossed the line in 1 hour 27 minutes 33 seconds.
It was also a chance to meet up with my brother Andy, who lives close to Cosford. We couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a look around the rest of the museum and of course take a photo of the Vulcan in the Cold War exhibit.
Whilst I’m disappointed with my time I enjoyed every step and I’m looking forward to beating 1 hour 20 mins next year!