Our Julia takes 15k North Staffs record

Club head coach Julia Matheson has taken the North Staffs Road Runners' Association female 15k record for her V55 age category. 

That is in addition to the records she already holds for 5k, 10k, 20 mile and marathon distances in the V55 category. 

And those are in addition to six further age category records she also holds.

Julia ran 59:11 in the event at Eton Dorney at the weekend, winning the race outright.

Here Julia describes how she did it.

Some of you may remember a newsletter post describing my DNF due to injury at Eton Dorney back in 2020.

Following rehab and a big block of training (and post lockdown) I decided to revisit this distance and see if I could go one better this time around.

So I had 4 plans: - finish the race in one piece, run sub 1hr 10 mins (current NSRRA F55-60 AG record), run under 1 hour (current NSRRA all age group record) and enjoy the socially distanced experience.

Julia Matheson showing her medal

Although there were a few last minute considerations due to the HRH funeral taking place some 500m away from Dorney Lake, everything went to plan.

For those of you that have never raced at Eton Dorney I can confirm that it is a fantastic venue for triathlon/duathlon/running events, this one was organised by F3 Events.

The course at Eton College Rowing Centre is very picturesque, flat and offers a superb backdrop for motivation on the day. It was used at the Olympics for rowing events.

The event was well organised, observing all Covid restrictions and socially distanced rules.

There was no mass start, all competitors were set off at 15 second intervals so it was more like a running time trial than a 'full on' race and at no time did anybody really have knowledge of how they were positioned against other competitors in the race.

This suited me perfectly as I could focus on running my pre-planned splits and run a consistently paced race.

As there were other events taking place at the same time (5k/10k/half marathon & duathlon) there were lots of other people on the course so that became an encouragement as the race progressed.

Although I started off a little fast (I should know better - coaching point!) I managed to settle into a good hard pace early on, and managed to sustain it throughout the race.

It was a little windy in parts which made pacing sometimes challenging on the 'open' course.

Julia Matheson under the finish bannerI managed 6:17 minute miles to the end and although the course measured long by 0.12miles I crossed the line in 59:11 a new NSRRA all age group record, and as a bonus I won the race!

I was in one piece at the finish and I don't know if I wanted to rejoice or simply feel relieved to achieve my goal, but I certainly enjoyed it.

I can recommend this event to anybody who fancies visiting Eton Dorney, a lovely area, well organised, and a perfect venue to target a fast race.