Dartford 10 miler 2014

Last Sunday I took part in the final Dartford 10 mile race. This isn't I race I've run recently, mostly because it has been cancelled or I've been involved in other events. This year I entered it thinking it would be useful training for the Brighton Marathon in April. Unfortunately the event was cancelled (as in  previous years) and re-arranged for the 21st of September.

The re-arranged race date suited me quite well, especially as it was starting at 0830, compared to most races which start at 1000. I actually wish more races started earlier, although I appreciate that people have to travel in to attend races, so it might not be the most popular move.

In addition to this being the first time I'd run this race in a few years it was also only my second race as a Gravesend Road Runner. I was very proud to don my blue top again and set off on the 10 mile route, along with 4 other Road Runners. Now this course is described as undulating, but I think it's fair to say that the route contains two fairly significant hills. The first of these is at around 2 miles and lasts for what feels like a very long time and just when you think it's over you swing right and the hill continues. Once this hill is finished the middle part of the race is really quite pleasant and you can definitely build up some speed and a very good rhythm. Unfortunately at 9 miles you hit another hill, which lasts pretty much until the finish, but I don't think this is as significant as the first one.

So on to my splits, now this was the second time I'd use my Garmin during a race, unfortunately I forgot to start it and didn't realise this until about 1/2 a mile in :-( But I'm still going to publish my splits because I think they show how the middle part of the race is much easier than the first.

Mile 1 - 7:22
Mile 2 - 7:24
Mile 3 - 7:53
Mile 4 - 8: 03
Mile 5 - 7:50
Mile 6 - 7:06
Mile 7 - 7:26
Mile 8 - 7:24
Mile 9 - 7:56
Mile 10 - 4:14

Taking all this into account and the fact that I was trying to mentally calculate my time as I was running I was delighted to finish the 10 miles in a time of 1:15:51 and finished 126 out of 393 runners. As it happens 1:15:51 matches my Previous Best for 10 miles, which was at the Canterbury 10 mile in 2012. I think this shows improvement...I think!

This was a very enjoyable race and one that I would certainly do again, if it was run again. This is why I think it's a real shame that this is the last year that this race is being held as it's a very well organised and marshalled race, with some excellent facilities at the start and finish. So it looks like my local "middle distance" race will now be the Dartford Half Marathon, which takes place in July of each year.

Intranet Now conference!

Last week I was fortunate enough to join 100 other intranet professionals at the first ever Intranet Now conference. This was a conference that had been organized within the space of four months by Wedge Black and Brian Lamb.

I was particularly excited about attending this conference because it would be my first "un-conference" this is a non-traditional conference in the sense that attendees create the agenda by suggesting sessions that they run themselves, with input from the other attendees. This and the fact that the morning sessions were a mixture of 20 minute Keynote sessions and 5 minute ignite style sessions gave the conference a real buzz that I haven't felt at another conference recently. This has been confirmed by the very positive feedback the conference has received in the days since.

This feedback includes two write up's from Martin White of Intranet Focus (linked below) and a write up by Gloria Lombardi of Simply Communicate (also linked below)

These are well worth reading to get a feel for some of the main conference themes and the issues that were discussed. Of the sessions that did take place, there were 3 that I particularly enjoyed. They are (in no particular order):
  • 7 things about intranets I learned the hard - Sam Marshall of Clearbox Consulting
  • Intranet Features you need right now - Sharon O'Dea
  • The future of work and the digital workplace - Jonathan Phillips
I've embedded these 3 presentations below so you can enjoy them as much as I did. In addition to these presentations, there are a number of the other presentations available on the Intranet Now conference website. Overall this was a fantastic conference, which I would highly recommend if you can when it runs next year.