Saturday, October 02, 2010

Galway Bay Half Marathon 1st in 1:13:39

It was a windy day down at the Bay so we were going to cop it running away from the city. Didn't bother me, just wanted to get stuck in. It looked like none of the gun runners were going to show so that left me in with a good shout. After a 10 minute warm-up, I changed into my race singlet, dropped off the bag, had a quick toilet break, then made my way to the start where I did a few run-throughs. Soon we were off.

I found myself at the front straight away with 2 other Irish runners. I was sticking to my race plan to take the first few miles easy so good to settle into a mini group and try to get out of the wind. All good. The course itself was flat, and after a mini-lap at the start which had us at 5:36 for the first mile, the pace slowed a bit as we made the long drag out of town running into the wind for a couple of miles.

I was still in the group and miles 2 and 3 passed in 5:49 and 6:00 and we had a decent gap on anyone behind. We reached the turnaround point at about 3.5 miles and after a downhill section leading onto the sea, I decided to lift the pace and take the lead. Nobody responded so from this point on it was me against the clock. I had the 2 lead motorbikes to follow so no chance of getting lost but I must say the constant sirens were vary annoying.

With the wind now on the back it felt really easy and miles 4 and 5 passed in 5:30 and 5:27. There was a lot of support on the course from runners streaming in the other direction, plus from others who were watching the race and I was surprised by how many people knew my name and were giving me a big cheer. There was a horrible section where we had to run out and back along this jetty - straight into the wind on the way out and then wind behind for the return. By the end of the first lap I had opened up a good 40 second gap and decided I would run relaxed as I headed out for the second lap running straight into the wind once more.

I missed the mile markers for 6 and 7 but by mile 8 the previous 3 miles had passed in 16:55 so I was still running okay. Mile 9 was still into the wind and that passed in 5:49 and when I reached the turnaround for the run home it was time to lift the pace. The mile splits dropped straight away and miles 10 and 11 were covered in 5:35 and 5:32. I was really enjoying this run, I was taking in the crowd and it was nice to not be red-lining the whole race. Another trip up and down the windy jetty and mile 12 was covered in 5:27. So getting quicker still and now the last mile and a bit. Soon I could see the finishing area and after rounding the last corner I was soon running down the finishing chute to cross the line in 1:13:39. The last 1.1 miles taking me 5:59.

The second place runner was a good 2 minutes or so I had increased the gap significantly the second lap. Another prize cheque and my best win to date as there were well over 1,000 runners in the race. A perfect training run and felt comfortable the whole way.

I finished up with a couple of kms warm-down so all up 25.1km for the day.

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