Heanor Running Club’s Louise Insley has added the British Masters V40 title to her growing collection of achievements as she obliterated her personal best over 10k at the Great East Anglia Run in Kings Lynn last weekend.
After winning the Midland Masters title at the Wilne 10k last September, Louise, 44, ran 37:07 to take full advantage of the perfect conditions and brilliantly organised race.
With a previous personal best of 37:54 set just last month, Louise admitted to being shocked at the margin of her improvement on the flat, one-lap town-centre course, especially as she ran the race differently to anything she’d done previously.
“I’m delighted with my time. After spending all last year trying to go under 38 minutes, it was a shock to do it by so much. I was actually hoping for around 37:50 but, once the race started and because I knew it was flat, I just decided to run at six-minute mile pace for as long as possible and see how far I could get. I was quite shocked that I managed to do it for the whole race. I’ve never actually run that way before and I was over the moon with the result.”
Athletes need to be affiliated to one of the region’s in order to qualify for Masters competition and although the results show Louise finished second V40 in the race behind an unaffiliated athlete, she exceeded all expectations and her incredible new best sees her sitting 11th in the current UK V40 rankings.
Whilst the huge chunk of improvement came as a slight surprise, momentum has been building for Louise throughout the winter. At the Midland 12 & 6 Stage Road Relays back in March, Louise said her aim for the year was to dip inside 38 minutes for 10k for the first time. She achieved that in her first outing over the distance at the Derby 10k a few weeks later and that performance came off the back of a winter that had already seen her play a pivotal role in the victorious BDL XC women’s team and post personal bests on two occasions over half marathon – in Valencia (1:25:46) last October and then again four months later with 1:22:37 in Barcelona.
Louise has now had to shift the goalposts with regards her targets and expectations for the season and says she is now aiming for a sub-37 clocking once the real track work gets underway.
Relay competition returns before that attempt can be made, however, and Louise will line-up in the yellow and blue for the British Masters Road Relays at Sutton Park next weekend. My next race will be the British Master Road Relays. I really love running as part of a team but unfortunately we didn’t have a complete team last year. But we have a strong four this year so it’ll be interesting to see how we do.”