Posted: 05/10/2015 at 22:40
Ok this next post may be a bit long so either scroll down or indulge me!
So there is a little background to the Metric Marathon. This was the fifth race where I was up against my closest rival. Now I am not sure if he is aware of the rivalry but it is very real in my head and is certainly not helped by the compare runners function on runbritain. I am not the only one that does this, am I?
Anyway I had beaten him in the first two races this year and he had claimed the second two. This was crunch time. We had a little chat before the start where he said he hadn't been running much but I wasn't falling for that one. The gun was fired and we were off running around the horse racecourse. I was away like a shot doing my finest Black Beauty impression.
I was away fast. I know from experience that when racing against him that I have to be in front or he just extends his lead though it does leave the worry of not knowing how far he is behind. First mile, boom, in 6:19. Way too fast..... time to calm it down. Saw Mr P just after mile 2. Was still half asleep and didn't realise he was cheering me on! Sorry Mr P - the penny only dropped just as I ran passed you!
So I carried on carving the miles out, gradually dropping the pace to a sustainable 6:50ish. I was waiting for the time we turned and starting going back on ourselves. I looked at the watch to see what the gap was. I passed him after 40 seconds. Surely at 8 miles the gap would be enough? But then my pace dropped to 7:00. Could I keep it up?
The sun started to feel hotter and I was now joined by the full marathon runners who were overtaking me which is never good psychologically. It was getting very hard. My legs were hurting. I was paying the price for going out too hard but I could do this. I started to count to 300 distract me. Suddenly I was back to the hilly part of the course and the pace dropped to 7:21. He would be gaining on me, I had to push it on but it was just too difficult
Luckily I was running with the 3rd (at the point) placed lady. We encouraged each other as we ran. Finally we came onto the riverside. It is a beautiful part of Chester and I wished I could be sat down there having a pint! Finally we arrived back at the racecourse. A quick check over my shoulder to see if I could see him. No sign. Quick sprint for the finish. 1:52:40. Four seconds faster than last year 49th place. So not too bad (finished 10th last year but the fast lads weren't there then)
So where was he? I waited at the finish, he couldn't be that far behind. Two minutes passed and no sign. He finished in 1:56:21. My tactic of going out fast had paid off but we both certainly suffered for it. He had had to walk up the final hill.....