After the painful half marathon in Folkestone I was a bit nervous about running the Ashford 10k. I’d managed around 10 relatively pain free miles in the two weeks since, but none of these had been at any sort of race pace.
The race HQ and the start/finish were hosted at the Julie Rose Stadium, with the exciting final 320 meters or so being run on the athletics track.
Parking was free and ample, and after a trip into the main building to collect my race number and timing chip I made my way down to the track where I had plenty of time for a warm up.
Similar to the Wingham 10K, which is also managed by Sporting Events UK, the Ashford 10k utilises reusable chip technology for their timing. I’m yet to have a problem with the disposable chips but these do feel more robust.
It was time to line up at the start, and although I was ready to go, I was still quite nervous about whether my knee would hold out for the whole race.
After a brief introduction by the race director we were off! The atmosphere was great around the exit to the stadium and we were soon on the A2070 heading towards the Canterbury Road round-a-bout. The whole race takes place on closed roads, which is just as well as the route takes you along some of the busiest roads in Ashford.
About half way round we hit a downhill section which my knee really didn’t like, so although the flat sections were fine, I decided to take it easy on anything greater than a slight slope – fortunately there was only one other section like this as you can see in the elevation chart.
Looping around the centre of Ashford, the second half of the race took in sights such as Dominos Pizza, Kwik-Fit and an Esso petrol station. Not the most scenic of routes, but then this was never billed as a countryside race! Back onto Willesbrough Road, and slightly uphill, I was really tiring at this point and I kept looking for the turn back into the Julie Rose Stadium.
Finally it appeared in the distance and it wasn’t long until I was turning in and back onto the running track. A three-quarter loop took us to the finishing straight and I crossed the line. As expected with my knee injury there was no PB today, but hey, there’s always the next race.
One thing I really did like was the live timing board giving your chip time as you cross the finish line. Just be quick to spot your time before you disappear off the bottom!
Medals and Prizes
Nice medal showing the stadium roof peaks
First square medal I’ve seen and it incorporates an image of the Julie Rose Stadium. Nice lanyard showing the year too.