I had entered this race prior to Christmas but had no real expectation of doing it as 30k this early in the year is always going to be a stretch. The race always sells out with it being so well placed for those wanting a test for a spring marathon. For those of us wanting simply to test our resolve at getting out of bed on a Sunday it hold slightly less appeal. However, I had told a couple of friends I would be joining them and so on that basis the die was cast.
The race conditions were almost perfect, a little over 5oC and a lightish wind, my bag of excuses was looking decidedly bear. I had done my normal week of training, including an inadvisable imbibition the previous evening. I found myself on the line, as usual, wondering why.
OK, so I was there so I may as well crack on. I quickly settled on the shoulder of a couple of runners who looked like they meant business and a couple of others dropped in on their heels. After a couple of miles it transpired they were training for a sub 3 London marathon and so were aiming to pace round at that sort of level – the first two miles were 615ish. I quickly made the decision to stick with it to the half way mark if I could then drop back to a more normal pace. I planned to try and get under 2:10 as this would be the same pace as Folksworth. 15k came and we were at 59:43, so, predictably I thought bugger it, wonder how long I can hang in for reasoning that the longer I hang in the slower I need to go to hit my goal once I let them go.
Once we got to 20k I was in IM world, I can pretty much muscle my way through 10k no matter what state I am in. Ironically, have stuck like glue to my two pacers, I ended up pacing them in for the last 5k to pull us through in just under 2hrs.
Rather irritatingly I am 50 this year so in triathlon terms I am 50-54 but in running terms your birthday is the cut off. Whilst being 31st out of 700+, I was only 8th in MV45, in three month time I would be 1st MV50, but that ain’t the rules so I was 8th.
This result has given me some confidence that this year I might be able to have a good crack at a sub 2:50 marathon in Edinburgh and qualifying for Kona is on the cards if I can work on my swim and bike. I have been working away from home a good deal during the last year but with that set to change in the second half of 2014 I might be able to start to string together a little more consistency. It’s time to commit, reckon I am in.