Sunday 17 April 2016

Darent Valley 10k 2016

The Darent Valley 10k, hosted by Swanley and District AC has become a bit of a yearly ritual for me. For the last two years I have cycled to the venue, run the race and then cycled home via the scenic route. This year was no different apart from I managed to somehow convince my friend Richey into cycling over with me.

The other differences to the race this year were that my knee injury (torn meniscus) has resulted in a severe lack of training, so my 10k times are on a downward trend. I seem to be getting 2-and-a-half minutes slower everytime I run this race! And the other big change is that I am now a first-claim member of Dartford Harriers and this was my first first-claim race in the Harriers vest.

dartford harriers

If you are looking for a detailed description of the event then I would point you towards my blog posts from 2014 and 2015 which contain much more helpful information than this post does. This race also gave me an opportunity to test out my New Balance Zante V2 running shoes and they felt fantastic all the way through.

The race itself got under way in the usual way and to be quite honest, I found it very tough this year. The knee issues have prevented me from putting in any decent mileage and although I got around in a fairly respectable time, I found it really, really hard. The flat sections weren't too bad, but my legs really can't handle going up any kind of incline at the moment. And this course features quite a few inclines.

running through 'ankle breakers alley' (approx 6km) [photo: andrew langdon]

But just like everyone else, I got around the course, which is challenging but extremely scenic. It even passes along part of the Lullingstone parkrun course (or does Lullingstone parkrun use part of the Darent Valley 10k course?) - Anyway I visited Lullingstone parkrun the day before this race and it is fantastic.

There are not a huge amount of spectators during middle miles of the race, but I was very grateful for the cheers from the volunteers out there marshalling and then from the locals as I made my way back through Eynsford during the last kilometre.

darent valley 10k 2016 medal

With the race over and a new Darent Valley 10k personal worst of 44.41 in the bag, we grabbed the bikes and set off for the return journey back to Dartford via the aforementioned scenic route. Even with the slightly disappointing result, this is still one of my favourite races and I hope to be repeating my yearly ritual for many years to come.

Chip time: 44.41
Gun time: 44.44
Position: 53 / 410
Official results: Darent Valley 10k 2016
My GPS data of the course: Darent Valley 10k 2016 Strava file

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