Had I known what that Metro runner was going to do, I would have tucked in with him early on and had a more enjoyable race with possibly the same or slightly better outcome - he overtook everyone I overtook plus me! He just did it better than me by not going mental early on...!
On the plus - the Metro I tracked early on is Callum Walker - serial sub 3 marathoner so pleased to have beaten him and hindsight is wonderful so I actually think I ran it well - just needed to man up a little bit in miles 10-12. That's where the PB was lost. All in all though - 84:38 is a solid time on tough(ish) day/course.
Feeling pretty good in the few hours leading into the race if a little nervous. Got a nice slow jog warm up with a couple of mates then a few strides a bit later just before the start.
The weather was perfect when I left the house but definitely windier in Fraserburgh and it picked up just in time for the start and the drizzle started about 1 minute before the start. Ace Headwind on the way out and for most of the first 6.5 miles but only strong in a few places. Set off at what felt comfortable, checked the watch and I was at 6:16 pace which was a bit quick but I had a decision to make early on. I was at the front of a pack with a gap ahead. I could tuck in or give a little push to tuck in behind the runners ahead. I went for the latter this time and tucked in behind a couple of Metro runners. First mile came out at 6:15 but I thought that was fine as I was running tactically to get shelter from the wind. One by one the runners seemed to drop away except for a Metro runner I knew and I stuck to his shoulder like glue. We picked off a couple of runners and I let him do the work - he was picking a good line all the way so I just followed him. At about 4/5 miles we were joined by one of his clubmates who was handily a massive guy and he went past me and alongside his mate for a while. Good wind barrier He dropped off a little again as we went through 6 miles and I was still following the first guy. The splits weren't consistent here but I went through 6 miles at average 6:24 so I thought I'd made the correct decision to follow this guy instead of sitting back early on. At 6.5ish we turned into the railway line out of the wind and I decided to leave the 2 Metro guys and chase down my clubmate up ahead. Old boy Robbie Youngson - awesome runner with some good PBs but I've been ahead of him this year generally and beat him at Brodie 10k a couple of weeks ago. Just focussing on his vest the whole time and getting gradually closer. 7,8 and 9 at 6:17, 6:23 and 6:16 and at this point I'm convinced I'll be getting a PB but probably not sub 83. A different Metro runner (one I was with right at the start) comes up alongside for a bit and we catch Robbie at about 9.5. Metro goes past and I go past Robbie for a couple of seconds and then it starts to go a bit downhill (my race I mean!!). Robbie and Metro pull away a bit and for some reason I don't go with them. If I'd gone with them I'm sure I would have beat them and might have PBd. I should have beaten those 2 as I've been quicker than them over all distances this year. But as soon as there was a gap I just couldn't seem to close it. The climb out of the Philorth estate from about 9.5 to 10.5 seemed to take forever!! 6:30 / 6:32 for miles 10 / 11 and I knew mile 12 was the hardest... I was just hoping to hold it together so I could try and chase them down on mile 13 on the downhill. They never seemed to get much farther away - uphill mile 12 in 6:43, round the corner and really trying to push the pace but only as far as 6:24. I got a boost when I saw my wife and daughter at about 12.5 but too late by then to catch the guys ahead. Round into the park towards the finish - a bit gutted to see 84 come and go but push onto the finish and see the last bit was at 6:12 pace so not too bad. 13th place. I didn't really manage anything I set out for but I don't think I was in HM shape - I think I knew that deep down though. I haven't been hitting the threshold pace like I was in the first half of the year and not done enough long stuff.