I would also recommend Stubbington Green Runners, having joined the club last year and found it very welcoming, especially considering I never make it to club training and only got to know people through parkrun / races / Facebook. There are lots of friendly people (including Julie!), there are a wide range of abilities and ages, and many are from the Titchfield, Locks Heath, Whiteley, Warsash area.
To be fair, Fareham Crusaders seem to be an ok bunch too, if you don't mind wearing burgundy and yellow
Another option is to do the opposite of the above - if you're planning a 15 mile run, run from your house / car to a point 7.5 miles away, so that on the way back you don't have the option to "bail out" and you need to run all the way back. Not saying this is a better way, but it works for me if I'm struggling for motivation. The minute I reach half-way, I know I'll make it all the way because I don't have a choice!
That's what I usually do for long training runs. Also helps when the route itself is enjoyable enough to minimise boredom - I'm lucky to have scenic coastal trails around me for this.
Another thing I do on a long run is remind myself that the first time I ran 10K it seemed difficult, now it is easy; the first time I ran 10 miles it seemed difficult, now it is easy; the first time I ran 13.1 miles it seemed difficult and now it is easy, etc etc, so even if 20 miles feels hard, it is worth pushing to the end because it will make it easier next time. I tell myself that my body can do this and that any doubts are just the safety mechanism of an over-cautious brain that I can choose not to listen to
I ran this one too, couldn't see any timing mats at the start line when lining up so I assumed it would be gun-to-chip so started my watch accordingly, and my watch time matched my result, same for a clubmate too.
As mentioned above, everybody's chip time and gun time were identical on the timing site results so it obviously was gun to chip. That does not bother me for a low key event like this, as long as it has accurate results over an accurately measured distance, but I understand why it would bother many others. Organisers should make it clear in advance what timing method will be used though, so people know what they are paying for; I don't think that they did in this case.
Enjoy the benefits of having a strong aerobic base! It makes sense that your running muscles are the main "limiter" and need to catch up in fitness with your general cardio conditioning. Not only that, I find even amongst good quality, experienced runners, there is quite a variation in breathing rates at race-pace. If I breathed as heavily as some people around me in the early stages of a race I think I'd be close to collapsing by halfway!
It's not unusual for your cardio system to be well developed, yet you lack muscle endurance - that sums me up nicely. Lots of steady mileage will help - no need to bust a gut to develop this.
^What they said^
I'm another in this camp - although not from swimming, but from years of football followed by only focussing on running in the last 18 months. My heart rate range and lung capacity have plenty in reserve but strength and endurance in my legs is the limiting factor and takes time and mileage to develop.
It's not unusual for my lungs and heart rate to settle very quickly after a race finish, but my calves will be begging for mercy for hours or days afterwards!
But has it happened to others out there is my question to you all?
As others have said, it just comes with the territory with the mass participation events. At the other end of the scale with smaller local league/club races people get to know/recognise others around them and I find even when there are no predicted finish time markers, 99% of people manage to line up in a reasonable order.
I had a similar experience to you but with the Great South Run - although I knew better and had planned to start further up in my wave - but leaving home 15mins later than planned meant arriving 30mins later than planned and then spending more time in toilet queues and bag drop queues than planned. I was therefore still clambering through my wave frantically when the gun went off rather than being in position with plenty of time calmly soaking up the surroundings. I spent the first 1-2 miles weaving in and out overtaking Batman, Robin, Snow White, Roman Centurion and co, and made it to my target time by half way, but had overspent in doing so, and faded in the last couple of miles.
Like you I got a PB at the time - due to being my first 10 miler for six months - but it was an underachievement for my ability at the time. A week later - in a smaller local race on a more challenging 10mi course - I beat my GSR time by well over a minute.
In my GSR case I have myself (or my wife for not being ready on time!) to blame for starting too far back, rather than other people starting too far in front. However I have seen that happen too - last year in a charity 10K race with a rather narrow start, there were a couple of joggers in jackets and headphones etc right up the front of the sub 40 band, seemingly oblivious of everything around them, who got stampeded within about 10 seconds of the start.