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Race recap: Chippenham Longest Day 10km

Knowing I can finally write about real, in-person races makes me ridiculously pleased. It had been a long time since I'd pinned on a race number and crossed a start line surrounded by plenty of other excited runners - over two years to be exact. Due to injury and the pandemic, my return to racing had been greatly overdue. This made taking part in the Chippenham Longest Day 10km by DB Max all the more special and exhilarating.

Considering I often find it difficult to choose the events I want to take part in - since my bank account wouldn't be best pleased if I went for them all - I thought it may be useful to provide a race recap and review for each running event I do. Below I'll discuss how I personally found the run course and event as a whole, as well as a brief overview of my own performance and feelings towards the day.

The event

Lets begin by discussing the event itself. My initial attraction to taking part in this 10km was for a few reasons. Firstly, being based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, it was relatively local to me meaning limited travel was needed and I was supporting local Wiltshire running events. Following on from that, I secondly entered as I knew there would be strong presence of my running club there, Avon Valley Runners, due to it being close by. Given I hadn't had the chance to run with my club and in a club vest yet, I was really excited by this prospect.

Finally, the event took place on a Wednesday evening. Often I find it difficult planning in races around other social plans I have on weekends, therefore this mid-week event was the perfect option. Admittedly I was quite sceptical to run a race at 7:30pm since I am usually a morning runner by choice, however I did enjoy switching things up and fitting it easily into my schedule.

Organisation wise, I cannot fault DB Max on the running of this 10km event. Pre-event information provided was extremely useful and made me feel confident heading to the event even though I'd never visited Chippenham before. Registration was quick and easy and they ensured we were set off for the race in small waves of 30 at the start line based on your ideal finish time. The finish line was great too with a commentator commending every single runner and plenty of water and medals for us all as we passed down the shoot.

Finally, the medal we received is a beauty. Of course adding a new bit of bling to the collection is always a great feeling, but I especially loved the design of this medal to really encapsulate the name of the event.

The course

I really liked the course for this event. A nice combination of off-road paths (not sure I'd go as far as 'trails' since they were well surfaced) and road, passing through some gorgeous Wiltshire countryside. For some reason I presumed the route would be much flatter than it was and therefore found the inclines a bit of a shock to the system, however the last 1-2km was relatively downhill to make up for some of it.

Overall I think it was a beautiful route that can be really enjoyed as you go, definitely suitable for all running abilities.

There were two water stations located on the route at around 2/3km in and 6km in. These were easily accessible with plenty of water for everyone without causing congestion, and considering the hot weather they were very much needed!

My performance and experience

To put it simply, I was disappointed with my time. I know I have much more to give over the distance and have run much better 10k's within my training runs. Essentially I struggled in the heat and up the inclines quite a bit, more than I feel I should have. But, it doesn't always go right on the night - and that is completely ok.

The main thing to take from this event is that I absolutely loved it! No matter what my time was, I came away feeling the massive buzz only an in-person event can provide. Being able to sport my club vest for the first time and run with many others from the club was the best feeling and made the whole run worth it. This is the first time I've done an event as part of a club and it really made it even more special. Having other club members cheering us on from the side lines was really nice and provided that added push to keep going. As I said, the route was also beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed the run as a whole. Running for enjoyment will always be my number one motivator and this event highlighted that even more.

If you're looking for a great South West 10km running event then I would highly recommend the Chippenham Longest Day 10km. I'm sure I'll be back again next year to have another good crack at the course alongside my fellow running buddies.

Have you done any races recently? I'd love to hear about events across the country that others have enjoyed!

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