Posted: 17/08/2014 at 13:47
Well...that was a race of two halves! Two good halves though, just very, very different!
Here is the profile of the route - cruel in the extreme!
Added to that, the strong wind was blowing us out to the halfway point anddirectly against us for the last 5.5 miles.
The race started, uphill for first half mile - just took it easy, slotted into about 12th position - up and over for a first mile of 6:24 or so. Taking advantage of the downhill and helpful wind, I knew I better leave something for the return but was still able to comfortably move up to 6th by halfway, after several 6 min miles. The fun was yet to begin, of course!
Turned around and started battling up the hill against the wind - absolutely brutal - almost immediately lost a place and about 100 yards on a chap from Perth. Kept calm though, just assuming that hills were his 'thing' and just fought hard at my own pace. Was stunned to see mile 7 as 7:49 but not disappointed - the contrast between mile 5 (5:52) was epic! At this stage, I thought it was remarkable that no-one else had caught me but everyone must have been feeling the same way. I dug in and worked so, so hard in miles 8-11. Everytime there was a flat but, I just pushed and pushed; everytime the wind dipped slightly, I increased my speed, only to be blasted seconds later, but that was fine. I was really pleased with my ability to 'fight' today and I was gaining ground on the chap who overtook me at halfway. He heard me at about 10.5 miles though and was able to put some distance between us by the end. So I finished in 72:31 in 7th position - delighted with the run in every sense and pleased that the runner in 8th was a long, long way back.
Here are the mile times to show the contrast.
A great race - I'll be back next year!