The annual event ran by Lakeland’s Hospice in Corby is a local favourite. A fast, flat course around Rockingham Motor Speedway it’s a good course for a New Year PB.
This was my third year of taking part and for the first time I’d decided to be organised and sign up online ahead of the event. At £13 an entry (affiliated) you can’t really go wrong, if an injury occurs – at least the proceeds are making their way to a local charity!
I arrived just after 10am, for an 11am race start, and made my way through the stadium to the starting area. My favourite thing is the Usain Bolt fact on the way through the tunnel!
Picked up my race number – 106 and to pick up a finishers t-shirt. Different picking up my finishers t-shirt before I got to the start but then again it saves the queues at the end. This is the first time I’ve known them to do t-shirts so this was a nice touch. Another one to add to the collection. Pondered around for a while trying to spot people from running club.
We met, had a few photos and a catch-up then made our way to the start line. This is a bit of walk to the starting area so a great way to warm up the legs.We were ushered to walk a little faster .. time was getting on. We found our places and waited to be sent on our way. The weather conditions for the Brass Monkey are well-known – it’s usually cold, windy and raining. This year was a pleasant surprise 10-12 degrees c and sun beaming over half of the track. I opted to start in gloves which would come off pretty sharpish – it was the second test of my new flipbelt! We were off, it was a busy year so the first half a mile was a case of zig-zagging through people to ‘find my pace’. Once found I headed to the track line – the flattest part of the motor circuit thinking that this would make me most comfortable. First mile – fast 8.56, that wasn’t going to last long. 2nd lap begun I was feeling good, a quick of water and into what was possibly the nicest part of the course. Shade, no wind. Round I plodded along to the worst part of the course. So much wind that I contemplated walking thinking it might have been quicker! Between miles 5 and 6 the wind must have been at its worst – 10.27 (though that is my average pace so not as bad as it sounds). I plodded on though and finally completed the fourth lap where I made my way down the pit stop area to reach the finish line.
I ‘officially’ according to my Garmin/Strava cross the 10K mark at 1.00.04 though the course was a little longer so my official finish time was 01.01.38. A PB whichever way I look at it, for the course and the distance.
Crossing the finish line we were handed our medals, pretty basic though this didn’t bother me. I heard some comments regarding the medals and that they weren’t what people were expecting and also read this on a few running forums I follow on Facebook. This didn’t bother me however it was a nice surprise to receive an email that advised we would be receiving the ‘proper’ medals at a later date due to a hold up at customs.
The nice thing about this race is that you pass by the crowd four times – they are in the ‘start area’ and, with the 1.5 mile fun run beforehand, there’s usually a decent amount of people cheering you on. The race isn’t chip timed which some people may have a problem with though in my opinion it adds literally a second or two to your time, I’m unlikely to come first so unless you are does it really matter?
Overall a good race early in the season that doesn’t have any particular undulating parts. It’s well supported and proceeds go to a local charity. I wouldn’t not do it again and it’s likely I’ll be back next year. Thanks to the organisers and volunteers!
Here goes the ugly race photos …
One day I might end up with a good one!