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Fiona’s Bugler’s race “I decided not to worry about


the outcome” Time: 39:37, 4th V35


Our editor, Fiona, 43, who did her first 10k just over eight years ago in 47 minutes, achieved PBs in all distances in 2010, but had yet to crack a sub-40 10k. After a string of races where things didn’t go to plan, she’d almost given up hope…


Sonia Samuel’s race “Brighton was only


my 3rd 10k” Time: 33:53, 5th woman


Sonia, 31, a Brooks sponsored athlete from Loughborough, started running at the age of 12 and was a successful junior cross country runner. Her goal was to run under 34 minutes


“I train hard and as a full-time teacher, my daily shedule is very hectic. I do my morning run at 6am and I’m out of the door for 7.20am as I have a 45 minute drive to school. I get home at 5pm and at evening training for 6.30pm. “I used to only run on the track and in


cross country but took up 10k earlier this spring. I came within three seconds of qualifying for the Commonwealth Games! I was so disappointed not to be selected! Brighton was my 3rd road 10k and my goal was to run under 34 minutes and stay as close to my husband Nick as possible. (He ran a new PB of 31:20.) “It was exciting to be back racing after a long break since the summer due to a foot injury. I only had two weeks solid training leading up to the race. That means two hard speed sessions and running every day. I didn’t taper or do any special preparation. “Before the gun went off, I felt nervous


but that’s a good sign, I tend to be quiet, so I can focus on the job ahead. At the start, I felt a bit race-rusty, and struggled with the pace for the first 3k. But by the last 3k I was catching and overtaking other runners – and I love that feeling!


RUNNING FREE ■ 39


“After I wrote about my near miss at a sub-40 at the Loch Ness 10k (October issue), I went on to race five weeks consecutively and each time I raced, I performed worse than the previous week! I wasn’t feeling confident, and wondered whether to run at all. “Like many runners I couldn’t quite


work out why I was having a bad patch, but when I analysed my training, I noticed that mileage had dropped off, and five weeks of racing was too much. “I knew deep down that it was my last chance to go for a sub-40 for some time. I decided to not worry too much about the outcome (and accepted that I might run around 41:30). After all, running is meant to be for fun. “The weekend was very relaxing, I slept and ate well, and hadn’t raced the week before. But, on the morning of the race, I still wasn’t sure how I’d feel when the gun went off. “What a relief, when I started running,


I felt good (and I hadn’t felt like this for a long time in a race). I knew I’d gone off too fast (Garmin recorded a 5:59 first


Brighton gets the thumbs up (left)… They’re off! (right)


mile!) but that’s not unusual for me. A couple of other local women went past and I decided that I wasn’t going to worry about them. But I was also pleasantly surprised to find I was staying with them at 6k – and pleased to run 19:35 for 5k (a PB!). “My race plan was to run every kilometre under four minutes. And when I got to 7k with plenty of time on the watch, I knew my sub 40 goal was close. “But after my hare out of the trap start, I had slowed down and by 8k I realised that there wasn’t as much room for manoeuvre as I’d thought. However, I hung on in there and was ecstatic (plus a little sick) when I crossed the line! Finally, finally I’d cracked 40 minutes!”


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RACES


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