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Probus 10K 2012

By Holly Payne

9th September 2012

As a Probus resident, I was delighted when Paul asked me to write the Probus 10K Race Report, especially as it was the 2010 Probus 10K that first introduced me to St Austell Running Club.  2010 Probus 10K was my first proper race and was where I met Terry, who encouraged me to join the club as we ran most of the course together, chatting away most of the way around – I’ve never looked back.

After a fabulously hot and sunny Saturday the previous day, luckily the clouds filled the skies come Sunday morning and the temperature had dropped – perfect conditions for the forthcoming race.  The route itself is one that my sister Sam (former STARC member, but who now runs for Falmouth) and I know inside out, having practiced it repeatedly over the past year or so. 

After the obligatory team photo outside the Primary School, the 15 of us STARC runners lined up at the start line outside the village chippy.  3, 2, 1 and we were off!  The race began with a nice bit of down hill, but it wasn’t to last, as the hills came in thick and fast from that point.  This was the 3rd time I’d competed in Probus 10K and approximately the 30th time I’d run the route, so I was feeling quietly confident that I’d have my pacing bang-on and was determined to finish under that magic 1 hour! 

After 2 miles of undulating hills through country lanes, fields and farms, we hit Grampound Road which included one long pig of a hill, which many runners chose to walk up (not me though – I ran up every last one)!

Upon reaching the summit of Grampound Road, the ‘Drinks Ahead’ sign was a welcome sight and we all knew we were half way there.  The next 1.5 miles were flat and fast, so I knew this was my chance to really go for it and see what my legs could do.  I was quite enjoying myself at this point, casually thinking how all the faster runners would be finished by now as I ran past all those familiar hedgerows.  Upon reaching the village of Ladock, I knew what was to come – hills, hills and more hills!  Throughout the race and up to this point, I had been running a 3 person mini race with two other runners – a lady from Newquay and a gentleman from Hayle.  I was soon to learn however, that hills were not their strong point!  With under a mile to go and after another sneaky photo from Terry and some motivational cheers from Katie of “go on – get under that hour”, I was on a mission, but knew the toughest part of the race was still to come!  First I upped my pace and picked off the Newquay lady, then on one particularly nasty hill I finally managed to get past the gentleman from Hayle who encouragingly shouted as I ran past – “well done, you don’t want to be beaten by a 75 year old do you?”

All those hill rep sessions at the club were about to pay off as I dug deep and ploughed on up the last long beast of a hill to the sounds of cheering spectators and through the finishing line as 1st STARC lady (there were only 2 of us though).  I came in well below my hour target with 57:53, 3 minutes faster than last year and my best 10K PB to boot (a whole minute faster than my Hayle and Newquay competitors, who incidentally finished within a second of one another in the end)!  The 2nd STARC lady came in the form of Daniella Walker, accompanied by Mr Paul Bullock who supported her during the race with his encouragement and friendly chit-chat throughout.  Daniella and Paul were closely followed by my sister Sam, who also managed to bag herself a 10K PB!

In my opinion, Probus is the toughest of 10Ks but is enjoyable, picturesque and a good challenge for both novice and hard core fasties alike.  Our efforts were greatly rewarded at the end with a smashing sky blue technical t-shirt, so it was well worth it!

Though there weren’t many of us, each and every STARC runner that competed in 2011 beat their time this year.  1st male in for STARC and overall 6th position was Stuart Nicholas in an impressive time of 37:30.  Stu also claimed 3rd place in Male under 40s and was joined by Antony Jarvis, Laurie Lee, Peter Bazin, Matthew Nicholas and Darren Stephens to win 1st prize in the Men’s Teams.  St Austell’s men certainly did not disappoint, as further individual awards went to Antony Jarvis (3rd Male Vet 40-44), Laurie Lee (2nd Male Vet 50 – 54) and Ian Watkins (3rd Male Vet 65-69).  Meanwhile, Andrew Ferguson, Justin Pascoe, Eric Moore, Andrew Lucas, Neil Truscott and Ian Watkins together managed to scoop the 3rd prize in the Men’s Team results.