I only run one flat, competitive 10km race per year, and it’s this one – La Bombarde. Organised by Club Athlétique Veynois, where they have a whole weekend of racing starting on Saturday with a straight up vertical race of Montée d’Oule, and culminating with the 10km on Sunday.
This year was the 9th edition and saw 193 runners compete in an event which was also a qualifying event for the 2016 Championship of France so there was quite a strong field of runners.
Since last year I’d managed a 10km PB, I skipped the vertical race to stay fresh and have another crack at a decent time. The weather was perfect, the crowd support and race organisation excellent, so all I had to do was run fast for 38 minutes which I pretty much managed to do.
A new PB of 38:35 – and feeling very knackered so straight home for a roast lamb dinner.
Lining up at the start of the race
More photos from the official club website.
On Sunday I ran my first ever competitive 10km road race – since getting into running about 6 years ago I’ve always been attracted to the longer distance events on trails, and can comfortably knock out a 45 minute 10km so I was keen to see how this would translate to an actual race. Since my main aim for this year is the Amsterdam Marathon in October, I’m keen to see how I can sharpen up my speed as well so I thought it would be a good little test.
The event ‘La Bombarde’ is run every April by a local running club, Club Athlétique Veynois which is a 25 minute drive down the valley in Haute Alpes. I got there an registered on the day – only €10 which included a good quality (if a little on the turquoise side) tech t-shirt.
The race headquarters where at the Plan d’eau in Veynes, a nice summer spot around a lake, with riding stables etc. Its in the main valley of the Grande Buech, so despite being in the Alps, there is quite a lot of ‘flat’ land and the race was to take place mostly on the back roads around the back of Veynes.
Waiting for the starting pistol – I was stuck at the back to begin with and the first section was narrow – will try not to make that mistake again
The Plan d’Eau lake at Veynes, the race headquarters
Panorama taken at the finish line
You have to love the French – beer, sausage and cheese for the end of the race.
The starting pistol went off without much warning or ceremony, and I found myself bunched at the back a bit. The first few hundred metres were on narrow twisting roads which made it difficult to get closer to the front but it soon spaced out. The race was on open roads but on a Sunday morning there’s not much going on in Veynes, and the marshalls did a fantastic job of keeping everything organised on the well marked course. There were markers at every kilometre, and I set my watch to just show me my average pace, with the idea of keeping it consistently below 4:00min/km so that I could aim for as close to 40 minutes as possible.
Luckily I made it in 39:14, so very pleased with the result.