This is the 2nd year the Oundle Magnificent Outlaw 10k has been run and everyone told me beforehand to expect a race that was as beautiful as it was brutal.
This was my first race since I joined The TORQ Perfromance Running Team and I wanted to do well, so I scanned the list of competitors to see who I was up against and knew that the main challenge for podium spots would come from Alex Hampson (the reigning Peterborough 5k champion) and course record holder James Mogridge, who I have been training with on the track, in preparation for the forthcoming Great Eastern Run. There were also many entrants from the Midlands who could similarly pose as an unknown threat.
From the moment the gun went off, the pace, despite the thick grass and uneven terrain, was furious and as anticipated, a group of 4 quickly broke away from the rest of the field, which included myself and the other two aforementioned runners. Barely 2k into the race and the 4 had become 3 with James, Alex and I all taking turns to lead and make it a 3 horse race. As we ploughed through some beautiful woods on some technical single track trails, James started to build a lead, with me following behind in 2nd and Alex in 3rd, when disaster struck and my shoe lace came undone; schoolboy error on my part for not tying them securely in the first place!
I toyed with idea of trying to finish the race like this, but taking into account the terrain, I decided this probably wasn’t the best course of action and so I stopped to make sure the shoe was securely fastened, which allowed James to consolidate his lead and Alex to steam past me. Luckily, I was up and running just as the 4th place contestant came into view.
Just as we hit the 7k mark, there was a sharp incline and I began to reel in Alex, although James was now nowhere in sight.
Despite the burning in my quads and lungs resulting from the tough terrain, I managed to regain 2nd place and with only 2k remaining and, despite the marshal’s assertions that James was only just ahead, this is where I finished.
I did not catch sight of James again until I crossed the finish line, where I learned he had smashed his own previous course record to take the victory. All in all I was happy with the day’s work and another podium finish, as my main focus was on a strong performance, in preparation for the Great Eastern Run.
The TORQ Running Team is sponsored by the following and without them we would not be able to do what we do, thank you: