A 'brief' race report?! Ok then, here we go...
I was dropped off by the Boss and the Small Monstrosity at the start as they weren't stopping, they were off for breakfast and shopping!
Having done the race in 2009 I had a good idea of where everything was and quickly found my way to the hall and transferred the number given me generously (shhhh!) by @JWUltra.
It was evident even inside the Hall of two things concerning the race; It was gonna be cool, and it was going to be VERY busy!
Stripped off clothing in degrees to try and acclimatise, which nearly worked to be fair! Handed bag in after a quick and gratefully received Twitter barrage (thanks guys!) and dived in to my pre-race bin bag! Ahhh...so warm! Had a brief run up and down the tennis courts/ car park and then found my way to the start pens.
I didn't want to be buried, but neither was I all out for a stunning PB time so I got fairly far forwards...ish.
Brief walk up to the start line and we were off.
Now I'd made the decision to run this race without MrGarmins help. So no watch to set, no pace to look at, no stride to settle into after the customary, initial 'mad mile.'
The jury is still out on whether or not I like this style of running. I think I'm too autistic for it to be honest! I like to keep an eye on pace, and accumulated time to gauge where I am in the race against what my body is feeling like. But it's always good to try new things, and at least I now know. Certainly don't regret it.
The first few miles were comparatively settled with not too many back markers to pick through. Some dope from Cambridge Tri Club stepped across me around mile 3 so I graciously shoved him in the back to avoid stepping on him...took him DOWN! ;o) (I was walking out to meet family as he was running in. Karma will get ya in the end!HA!)
The run to mile 6 (or was it 10k?) and the clock was okay, a little hilly but not too hard work so I was disappointed to go through the clock in a time of around 47 minutes. I really felt like I was working harder than that.
The miles after that were tough and hilly to around 9 miles. Great long hill at 7 miles that really dragged with a pretty pronounced head wind to add to the work load. But I find that I'm pretty okay with hills. So I was still maintaining pace (I reckoned) and certainly picking people off.
I was running through the field following a young girl from Olney something club. She had beautiful...er...'form.' Yes, that's the word - 'form.' She was bouncing along on her feet...in her tight tights...with great FORM. Yes! The FORM!
But joking aside she seemed to be running at a similar pace to me so I used her as a marker for a few miles.
At mile 9 the ascents stopped and turned into around 2 miles of glorious downhill. This is where I think time was really made up. My legs were feeling good so I did let go and try to gain some time and places down the hill. However the lady from Olney was VERY good at, er, descending - HILLS! Oh dear...
So we kept swapping places for some while, fun as it was.
(Eventually I did pull ahead of her, but only slightly. She really was very good and relaxed. In the end I finished less than a minute ahead of her. Great running.)
At 11 miles I decided I felt good still so kept on, keeping on and really enjoyed the racing picking people off as I could and felt.
Just after 12 miles a car passed the runners on the 'open' roads. It was 'Team Jules!' I recognised the Boss and the Small Monstrosity who apparently shouted his favorite running encouragement out of the window at me.."Run, fat boy, RUN!"
What a pity I missed this morale strengthening moment as they got past!?
Smiled nicely for the camera at just past 12.5 miles. "
Yes! Thank you 2066. I GOT it!"
I was just trying to be friendly and wave at him. Some people! ;o)
At this point I was really trying to kick for home and it felt good. It's not something I've been conscious of doing for a while with the longer races like the marathon. In those I'm more trying to 'survive' to get home!
Once I rounded the bend for the final drag up the street to the finish I did a final kick again trying to pick the pace up further. There was a moment when I thought I'd misjudged and the finish seemed further away than I remembered, but no! Around the bend past the Church and there was the school, and the blessed finish line.
Bit disappointed to see the timing clock not quite as low as I thought it may have been. But a finishing time of 1:31.48 in 205/ 1523 is not a bad day at the office.
I'm not big on excuses or reasoning away poorer race results but the fact that this is at the end of a 50 mile week, (ie no taper) with a 15 mile trail run in the bag yesterday does nothing but encourage me really.
Loving the Training Plan; loving the running.
Thanks for reading.