Race Report: Larkfield 10K

Reports

The Larkfield 10K was shared on Sunday 17th September with the Hospice Run, and Harriers were spread fairly evenly across both, with an impressive 35 of us turning up for Larkfield. As most of you know we’re currently top of the Kent Grand Prix leaderboard for both Male and Female, and Sunday’s strong showing should keep us there. It was a club-heavy race totalling 336 runners, with strong competition from the usual suspects.

The course was 2 laps of mixed lanes, pathways and residential roads, some closed and some open, which gave it variety – albeit with a long unchanging stretch at the end of each lap, which was a good test of the mental side of our sport! The route has a reputation of being fast and flat, and while this was mostly true, many of us observed that the first mile of downhill road tempted you (OK, me) to go out somewhat faster than intended, and then the next couple of mostly uphill miles made you regret it. Still, conditions were dry with only a mild breeze, if a little warm for the time of year at 19 degrees. On the whole the conditions were good for a fast time.

In the Men’s race we were closely pipped at the post by Daniel Bradley of Tonbridge AC. Our ever reliable Liam White came in a close 3rd overall (and 2nd MS) – only 16 seconds behind – posting an impressive 32:22. The winner’s trophy in the Ladies race was lifted by Phoebe Barker of – yes – Tonbridge AC, with Emily Nash the first Harrier, coming in 6th Female and 4th FS at 40:35.

My own race was a lesson in pacing: I went out too fast, and inevitably slowed down more than I’d have liked after the half-way point. However I started to pick up energy from the cheering of a good smattering of locals along the route, and after getting tired of seeing Maidstone vests going past me, I managed to pick up the pace and push hard for the last 800m, meaning I finished with a smile on my face, aided by a good buzz of enthusiasm on the finish line. The marshalling was excellent throughout the race, and the post-race snacks were all you could have asked for – assuming you asked for bananas.

Records may not have been set this time around, but we showed up in force, pushed hard across the board, and made it a memorable morning. Next and final KGP stop: Sittingbourne!

Harry Doyle