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‘Perfect 10’  – Cabbage Patch 10 – 17 October 

David Long reports as WACer Roy Long goes sub-60.

Once upon a time, there was a runner called Roy who lived in the small county of Dorset. He was set a task of running a 10-mile race in a far off land called Twickenham. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy but it didn't deter him.  On he continued  with  his quest,  all along the M3 until he saw it. The start.

His journey was hard and challenging, he persisted in running 45 miles a week across the valleys of Bournemouth and Wimborne. Many doubted he could do it, his Daniels’ Running Formula also didn’t believe in him but he struggled and continued to run races far and wide in preparation. Even as he stepped up to the start line, he was beset by doubts. His heart pounded at the start line, he had done all the hard work but could he pull it off.

The race began, the sun was out, the air was still and the time was nigh. He set off at a fair pace, using nearby runners to pull him along. He had never felt so good at such a pace. His first mile completed 5:30, a usual start for him yet he followed that up with a 5:38 mile. This territory was completely new to him but he carried on. His first time check was at 5k, he was given a time that was unfamiliar to him, a 17:32, a new personal best. He was floating along continuing to hold a pace he had only ever dreamt of. His next time check was at 5 miles and he was given a time of another personal best, a 28:34.  On such a joyous occasion he even found the strength to call out at supporters the time he had achieved. He ran on with only time in mind, a 10k split of 35:38 being his reward. He earned another personal best. With each step he hurt more and more yet with each step he wanted more and more. The pain was feeding him to run faster and faster. He had never run this fast before and he was in a certain agony you could only dream about. He fought on and on, harder and harder. The finish was in sight and again he kicked, his heart pounded inside his chest, his legs screamed in agony and his mind yearned for the finish.

He crossed the line, with a time of 58:47, another personal best. He had only ever dreamt of returning to such form. His hard work had paid off and he was ecstatic.

It was, his, perfect 10.

David Long

Postscript by Roy Long

The  Cabbage Patch 10 Twickenham,  was a very successful day out and if you're  looking for a well organized, very flat course that runs around the Thames,  you won't get much better than this (maybe the Wimborne 10, but I still have this to do in the next few weeks!) Thanks David, for summing up the day in the report above - very atmospheric!  Running for me this last year has been an exhilarating experience.  I have taken each week as it comes working on myself like a science project.  Knowing what I was capable of doing over 25 years ago and comparing that to how I am running now, has made it interesting and as long as I can keep the joints lubricated, hopefully I will still continue to improve. Consistency has been key, maintaining a steady weekly mileage of around 45miles including regular racing.

A typical schedule for me looks like this:

Monday - 6 miles at just under 8 minute miling.

Tuesday - 9 miles at 7.30 minute pace

Wednesday - 6 miles at just under 8 minute pace.

Thursday - 7 miles/interval session if not racing

Friday - rest

Saturday - easy 5

Sunday - 13 miles over Studland on the Purbeck Hills.


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