Mile one and the young buck, back from America, is leading it out with a host of mercernaries by his side in the front group, 10 in all. Being mostly downhill to this point they were probably in the 4.30/45 region hitting the first marker. Impressive to watch from my viewpoint in the 2nd group, a heady mix of mullachers, techie's, triathletes and converts, all running nicely at this stage, the burn hasnt reared its ugly head yet.
|Comfortable at halfway (973) - well aware of the pain ahead|
Mile two and the road starts to rise into this headwind, wide open, no tree's or hedging to speak of, we all take the brunt of it. My cycling brain picked out a similar framed runner and tucked in behind so all I had to worry about was the hill. Iv been running solid on the hills of late and was surprised to see the group whittled down going over the top and hitting the downhill section towards mile three, A descent with a tailwind gives us a chance to recover before tackling the last mile and a half into the hill again. Mike, a tall guy from the saturday morning group cruises up from behind. An ideal candidate to test me thro' the last section. Stronger than me, it was always going to be a sufferfest to the line. No more hiding from the burn, strange but its almost a relief to get to this stage to answer any questions I had about my form and see where Im at when im going full gas. Training mostly on my own and not a diary keeper, a race is the only real indicator of form. Mike distanced me in the last 500mtrs to the line, but coming in for a pb in 30.10, I was pleasantly surprised. My first five of the year and first race since the torture of the marathon has given me a marker higher than Id anticipated at this stage.
This race has a feel unlike any I have raced, closed roads, no traffic, no noise, set high above Fermoy and Mitchelstown, panoramic surrounds, resembling a trail race, with a strip of old tarmac instead of broken stone under foot. Like any other race the happy buzz was all around, cream cakes, tea, sambo's all there in bountiful supply. Looking at the results sheet, there was even an american tourist!
Well done to all of the organising committee for getting it all together on the night. When ye're plonked in front of the tv next week watching todays big stars strutting their stuff on the track and on the roads of London, think, its races like these where they've all come from.