Anyway, there was a superb entry of 1200 runners and the weather was perfect and as everybody gathered at the start there was a mounting sense of occasion and excitement which was infectious. I left the nerves behind and started to look forward to the challenge. My best time was done last year when I just went under 70 minutes. I had trained well for that but I was determined to try and emulate that time again this year. So from the off I stuck with the 70 minute pacers. This was a bit of a shock to the system as I found the pace really quick. Still I persevered and after the first mile there is a lengthy gentle downhill section and I was able to relax a bit more at the pace. The two, three and four mile markers passed and I was still with them but then I found that I just didn't have it in me to keep up anymore.
|Feeling the pain.|
Slowly and almost imperceptibly the balloons bobbing above the pacers moved further and further in front of me. At around five and a half miles I made an effort to try and bridge the gap to the pacers who were now two hundred meters ahead and I did a little bit but the effort put in jeopardy my ability to actually finish the race and I had to just concentrate my efforts at just keeping going. Slowly and increasingly painfully the mile markers passed until I returned to the town and I knew I would actually get to the end. In the last mile I was passed by many runners as they were able to put on a burst of pace while I was getting ever more sluggish. Still despite the pain I couldn't help but feel a certain satisfaction that I had kept going and I had persevered. About four hundred meters from the finish a small child shouted out "Look there's Santa" and I couldn't help but have a big grin on my face for a while, I still do now. The finish line at last arrived and I was a bit gutted to pass through in 72 mins 40 seconds. Now I see that it wasn't really such a bad time considering the lack of training I had had but I am determined to break the 70 minute barrier in another run this year. Finally a big thanks to everybody for organizing such a great event. I have no doubt that it will go from strength to strength in the future. Well done to all.