Race Report – Clyde to Alexandra Road Race 2019

The Clyde to Alexandra 10km Road Race is always a highlight of the winter racing season. It’s a special day each year where everyone travels up to Alexandra, has a run, then celebrate afterwards sharing stories on the way back home. I return with a smile each year and this year was no different.

Clyde to Alexandra Road Race – 10th August 2019

Time: 35:18

Distance: 10km

Pace: 3:32/km

Position: 19th Overall

The last few years I’ve run this race it has always been a stunning day. Sometimes even too hot. That wasn’t the case this time around. A high of 4oC was predicted alongside heavy rain and snow warnings. It was going to be chilly. I would just have to run faster to stay warm.

I wasn’t hoping for much from this race and I didn’t have any specific goals set. If I could get close to my previous PB of 36:58 I would’ve been happy. However, training had been going well lately and I just had strange feeling that this was just going to be a good run so I wasn’t doubting myself too much either. My race plan was to try and stick with a group at a reasonable pace at the start, not too fast, then find some energy for a strong finish towards the end.

Monteiths Clyde – Alexandra 10km Road Race. Saturday, 10th August 2019 in Alexandra, NZ. Copyright images Clare Toia-Bailey / image-central

We arrived at the Clyde Dam well before the start of the race and found out for ourselves just how cold it was. I planned to run in a singlet and shorts hoping I would warm up as I got further into the race. I quickly regretted this decision as I waited for what felt like forever in the chilling rain waiting for the starting gun.

We got a very quick briefing to the delight of all the runners and then we were off. It was a bumpy take-off. I got boxed in quickly, bumped into a few people, and just after crossing the dam I realised one of my shoelaces had come undone. I stopped quickly to chuck them in under my foot. Fortunately, my shoe stayed on for the remainder of the race. I also quickly realised that gloves would’ve been a good idea. I couldn’t feel my hands.

Once I sorted my shoelaces out I started my descent down the hill achieving a time of 3:15 for the first kilometer. I made sure to not get too carried away down the bottom as it can be easy to let the momentum of coming down the hill make you go faster than you need to. I settled into a comfy pace behind a group of around eight other runners and stuck with them for most of the race.

As we made our way back into Alexandra I did start to warm up, but my hands were still numb. Gloves are a definite for next time. Maybe even two pairs. The group ahead of me started to split up but I managed to keep the tail end of the group in sight. I averaged around a 3:35/km pace for the next 7km and managed to slowly catch up to the last runner in the group ahead of me. I had paced well and found enough energy to power through the last kilometer in 3:26 for a strong finish as planned. I was in too much pain as I crossed the line to look at the clock but once I gathered myself and stopped my watch I found I had finished in a time of 35:18. Almost a two-minute PB! Way faster than I had anticipated!

It was good to see a swarm of black and white singlets braving the cold.

I can’t give an exact reason as to why this race went so well for me. Training has definitely been going well for me lately. The weather, although cold, was actually really good for running. I’ve also been more selective about what races I do as well as making sure I keep on top of stretching and recovery. I also just simply felt really good on the day. Sometimes everything just clicks, and it all works out.

Before heading home we celebrated with a warm spa at the local pool and then I treated myself to a bacon burger from KFC. Smiles all around and another memorable day at the annual Clyde to Alex road race. Next up is the Dunedin 10km.


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