4 10ks, 3 PBs, 2 very tired legs and 1 shoelace disaster! – Liam Hooton

4 10ks, 3 PBs, 2 very tired legs and 1 shoelace disaster! – Liam Hooton

At the beginning of the year I set myself the challenge of completing at least 10 10k’s this year. With the challenge set, I went about getting some races booked. Completely by accident though, 4 of them just happened to fall on 4 consecutive Sundays, starting on May 1st and ending May 22nd …oops!

My previous PB was set at Fleetwood 10k back in March on a pancake flat course. I knew I had got a bit faster since then but wasn’t expecting to knock any serious time off that, if anything at all.

Sherriff’s 10k – 1st May – 43:54

The 1st of the 4 was at the Sherriff’s 10k in Scorton. The weather wasn’t brilliant but a small, hard-core band of Red Roses turned up. With this being the first of my 10ks I wanted to try and get started with a PB, but after hearing about how undulating the course was from several people, and the fact it was raining, I wasn’t confident.
As it turned out there were only 2 hills to worry about. This is where running the “undulations” (not allowed to call them hill’s!) of Cuerden Valley, week in week out, comes in handy, and it made these 2 hill’s manageable! I managed to finish this race in a new PB of 43:54 knocking 01:08 off my previous PB!
After some confusion with the numbers and finishing positions was sorted out (looking at you Ian Wharton aka Johnathon Winward!) it turns out we also came 2nd team for both the men’s and women’s categories!


Blacksticks Blue 10k – 8th May – 44:55

The 2nd 10k was a club race at the Blacksticks Blue 10k. I went into this one knowing there would be no new PB as I had been informed that the race starts with a nice long 3 mile climb! It was also probably the hottest day of the year and I had my Nieces birthday party that afternoon so I had to save some energy for the bouncy castle!
As it was a club race, there was a massive turnout by Red Rose, but most notably was my new “rival” Phil Davidson. Having narrowly beaten him (something he proudly told me my Dad hasn’t done in a while!) at the Avenham Park 5k the Monday before, he wasn’t going to let me take this one easy! He pulled out an early lead on the long slog uphill that made up the first 3 miles. I did manage to catch him on the downhill section and even pass him with ½ a mile left. Was I going to beat him twice in a row…? No is the simple answer! After hearing a tremendous war cry from somewhere behind me, Phil shot past like a man possessed and ended up finishing 5 seconds in ahead of me! Well played Phil.
I finished in 44:55, so as predicted no PB but a great day out and plenty of prizes for Team Red Rose!


Worden Park 10 – 15th May – 42:54

This was the one I was looking forward to the most as it’s a race organised by Red Rose and I knew there would be a lot of club members running and marshalling. Again, having not done this course before (I haven’t done any of these 4 before actually) I spoke to fellow club members to get an idea of the route. Everyone warned me of the hill at the end of the lap being a killer, but not one person mentioned the long drag up the country lane which just zaps all your energy!
Luckily I had my secret weapon to keep me going in the form of all the amazing marshals dotted along the route. It’s surprising how much of a boost I actually got from them and with their help I managed my 2nd PB, finishing in 42:54!


Crazy Cow 10k – 22nd May – 42:16
Finally! The last one. After this I can rest!
If truth be told, I only entered this race because I liked the look of the medal – it’s a working cowbell!
I arrived at Avenham Park on tired legs from the previous 3 weeks running but wanted to go out on a high. I had looked up the course in advance, and this was the flattest one yet so I had to go for it. The course was over paths and roads I have run many times with Red Rose on a Thursday night so I knew exactly what to expect. Everything was going perfectly and It was looking like I might get my first sub 42 10k until… disaster! At mile 4, my bloody shoelace came undone! I tried to carry on but my trainer kept getting looser and looser so I had to stop. I’m glad there weren’t too many people around because the air turned as blue as my trainers as I quickly retied them.
Despite the shoelace disaster, I did manage a new PB of 42:16 and I got my hands on that medal (which after 30 seconds I put straight in my bag because it was very annoying!). Again the support from Red Rose was amazing and I couldn’t have done it without their cheering and encouragement.


So overall in the last 4 Sundays I have set 3 new PBs in 4 races and gone from 45:02 down to 42:15! In between all the 10k fun, I also managed a new 4 mile PB of 27:44(Preston Interclub – 11th May), a new 5k PB of 20:41 (Avenham Park 5k – 2nd may), a new Preston parkrun PB of 20:56 (14th May) and a new Cuerden Valley PB of 21:43 (21st May). Think I’ve earned a rest now (unless anyone knows of a fast 10k for this Sunday?!?!?)!

Leave a Reply