Cheers Dachs and SG. Ric-forgot to say thanks for the encouragement at around 9k as it certainly helped get that last split down again (just a shame I didn't have the legs and lungs to respond to your final surge!)
Back from Staines. Decent course, with lots of PB potential (Garmin recorded total ascent of just 6ft!) but not for me today! Only issue was a bit of ropey marshalling sending us on and off the pavement, and one place around 8.5k where they sent two of us up a side road instead of straight on!! A diversion of only about 2m, but cost a few seconds and a bit of energy and focus! (not enough to have cost the PB though)
Turned into a bit of a forum get together with Phil, Ric and myself running in a group for a few ks. Ric and I took turns in pacing each other which helped, as we ended up in a bit of a blank spot between groups. I went through 5k in 18 dead, and although I knew then a sub 36 was unlikely, I still thought I was on to scrape a PB, but lost it a little bit after the 6th k (slight headwind didn't help at that point, but on another day it wouldn't have mattered). Eventually crossed the line in a gun time of 36:31, for 3rd V40 (£20 Apex voucher!) and 12th overall. Any other year that would have been top 5, but Datchet Dashers were there in force at the sharp end! I'll let Ric and Phil tell their own tales but suffice to say one of them left me retching in their wake on the finish line!!
Splits came out as 3:30, 3:36. 3:39, 3:39, 3:35, 3:38, 3:41, 3:43, 3:47, 3:38
Despite the lack of PB or being close to a sub 36, it was a reasonable result after the recent injury issues, and it also wasn't so long ago that my main ambition was to crack sub 37!
Yeah - 9am race start is a bit of a bugger. Means breakfast at 6 and set off at 7.15! Still, I've got a whole pile of stuff to do tomorrow, so at least I'll have a bit of extra time later on in the day - assuming I've got any energy left!
Top racing guys! Dean, being cheesed off with a 15:35 sandwiched between a gold and silver is a very good place to be (cheese sandwich?), especilly as you felt off what you are capable of at the moment. Stevie - I'm very jealous that you are on the verge of sub 17! You've worked for it though, so fair play!
Matt - not many can combine great results on the fells with fast road times (Brownlees aside!). I guess it needs a bit of thinking about whether you want to blast it on the fells, get some damn good road times or try and take a more generalist approach as a runner and do as well as you can at both!