It’s almost a whistle-stop tour of the nations capital as you go past many of the famous London landmarks as you chase a piece of personal glory. The route for the ASICS London 10k starts off at Green Park, just a stones throw from Buckingham Palace. It then heads past Westminster Bridge, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, Big Ben and Trafalgar Square before reaching its conclusion at Whitehall which is just past Downing Street.
The great thing about racing in London is of course, the electric atmosphere, and with live bands and DJs lining the route along with hoards of roaring spectators it’s easy to find the motivation to push hard and bring out your best.
If you’re running as fast as Barry Dolman does though then the sightseeing can easily become a bit of a blur as you venture along the bustling city streets. Barry’s usually hitting speeds of 6 minutes a mile or quicker in a 10k race and often gets round in well under 38 minutes.
Since his brilliant Boston Marathon in April though, where he ran a 2:54:26, Barry has just been ticking over with his running and hasn’t really been doing any sessions. He’s been glad to have a break from them after his arduous marathon block where he really pushed himself to the limit to achieve his peak level of fitness.
He has still been doing parkrun most weekends though, usually Moors Valley, and he did also feature in the a couple of the Hampshire League road races toward the latter part of the season. That included the Netley 10k in May which he got round in 37:27, winning his age category prize. Not sure if he’s still got the bar of Tony’s chocolate on his mantlepiece though!
The ASICS London 10k was staged on closed roads so there was no traffic to worry about, aside from the vast number of fellow participants to pick your way through. In fact there were over 13,400 runners present so the congestion was very evident, slowing Barry down a fair bit at the start. There were also a lot of switchbacks as well which made it tricky to get into a rhythm.
The first mile was mostly on a slight incline and Barry went through it in 6:16 before heading on a slight downhill trajectory for his second mile. That led to a 5:53 split before another mile that featured a bit of an incline saw him post a 6:18. He went through the 5k marker at 19:10 which wasn’t outlandishly quick by Barry’s standards.
Barry does tend to pace his races quite well though, often playing it quite conservatively at first and then upping the anti during the latter stages of the race. From the half way point onwards the course was mostly either downhill or flat as well so lent itself to negative split if you’re got it in the locker.
The fourth mile was slightly downhill the majority of the way and Barry got a great pace going as he ripped through it in 5:38. He then registered a 6:09 and a 6:08 for his fifth and sixth miles before closing the race out strongly.
That out his finishing time at 37:49 which placed him 270th overall. It was also enough to see him come in 8th fastest out of 514 in the M50-54 category. His average pace for the run was 6:03 minutes per mile and did in fact manage a faster second half of the race, going 3:50 per kilometre in the first 5k and 3:44 in second 5k.
The race was won by Jonathan Collier who flew round in 30:17, giving him a fair sizeable margin of victory over Edward Chuck who was 2nd in 30:48. He just edging out Marshall Smith who came 3rd in 30:49. Mohamed Hashi was the only other man to get in in under 31 minutes. Eight men went under 32 minutes and 20 managed a sub 33. A sub 34 time would have only been guaranteed to get you in the top 50, so it was a fairly high standard field at the sharp end.
Zofia Nanova was first female, securing a time of 34:23 which put her in 61st place. Holly Dixon was next lady in, clocking a time of 34:36 which put her in 65th place overall.
It wasn’t quite up there with his very best 10k times, both of which he did at Round the Lakes last year, in the summer and winter editions. Barry was still pleased with his run though as he hadn’t been feeling all that sharp of late and considering the training he’s been doing, it was a good result. He felt it was a decent event as well and would recommend it to others.
After the race Barry treated himself to few beers and a pizza, which is how all good races should end.
The next major goal for Barry to work towards will be the Valencia Marathon which is in December. It won’t be too long before he starts vamping up his training in preparation for that one and before he knows it he’ll be back in full marathon session mode. It will be interesting to see what sort of time he can produce on a course that should, in theory, be much flatter and faster than the Boston one.