Llanelli Waterside 10K 2011

The 2011 Llanelli Waterside 10K was only my 2nd race since being classed in the Veteran 40 (V40) category in March this year.

My Llanelli 10K race number

I’d never run the Llanelli 10K before, but from all I’d read about it, it was a flat, fast course – if a little open to the elements. Thankfully the thundery downpours of the previous few days had departed and we were greeted by sunny intervals – with a brisk 12mph wind – which made it feel a lot cooler that it actually was.

As a V40 runner, my challenge this time was to break the 50 minute barrier, but alas it ended in failure as did my first attempt in the Richard Burton 10K back in March.

My official time for today was 50 minutes 17 seconds and quite frankly I was bitterly disappointed with it. I always knew it would be a tall order to do a sub-50 time, as despite me putting the necessary miles in relatively consistently, I simply hadn’t done the necessary interval sessions required.

In order to satisfy my appetite for stats, the tale of the tape was as follows… 226th out of 559 runners overall, 60th out of 122 in the V40 category and 189th out of 358 in the Male category.

My t-shirt momento for finishing the race

Looking back through the lap times on my Garmin after the race, I was on course for actually achieving my goal having managed to set a pace up until the 8K mark which was 17 seconds below my target.

However, the course had a lovely sting in the tail at around the 8.5K mark with a steady climb which I’d face again on the return leg with around 800m to go. This really blew me out of the water and over the last 2k I dropped 34 seconds, thus giving me my disappointing finish time. This little stat only served to make me more annoyed and disappointed!

As for the rest of course it was predominantly flat with the odd hill here and there – but nothing extreme. The circular course is along the Millennium Coastal Park, starting at Festival Fields and heading in a westerly direction towards Pembrey for about 4K, before doubling back on itself towards the start/finish line at Festival Fields.

The course does pose a problem though as it isn’t exclusive to runners during the race, so there were a number of walkers/cyclists on the path at the same time as us – which wasn’t ideal and could obviously be dangerous.

The views and scenery are varied and picturesque, which make for an ideal distraction if you’re feeling the pain! The race was well marshalled with pockets of supporters shouting encouragement along the route (including the house of DDWT) – which is always a welcome addition to any race.

The view over Sandy Water Park

Parking was a breeze (no pun intended) as it’s literally right alongside the start/finish line and the race compare deserved a medal for being such a bubbly, positive and most of all supportive chap – his constant encouragement for all runners was fantastic.

Mind you that fact that he gave a mention to the Swans reaching the Premier League might have well struck a cord with me. Although perhaps he only did it as a certain John Hartson was taking part 😉

By the way John, if you’re reading this (which I doubt), I’m not following you mate, you just seem to be at the same running events as me! Remember Nos Galon? 🙂

If running isn’t your thing, then you could do a lot worse than visit the Millennium Coastal Park for a relaxing family walk, scooter or cycle anyway. If you do decide to give it a go, don’t forget to pay a visit to the Sandy Water Park too, where there’s quite a bit of waterlife to keep the young nature enthusiasts entertained.

Sandy Water Park sign

All in all it’s been a very energetic Father’s Day and I now look forward to finding another 10K in the not too distant future – if only to try and finally get this V40 sub-50 minute monkey off my back!

But first of all there’s the little question of a 50 mile British Heart Foundation South Wales bike ride in two weeks time…..