The weather was as good as I could have hoped for - a barmy 9 degrees. The sun was out, and there was very little breeze. Perfect for running. I arrived in good time, registered, then ran 3km as a warm-up. The start of the race took me by surprise - without warning we were off and despite being on the front row, I lost a few metres. No problem, I was quickly into my running and within the first 500m I had hit the front.
From then on I was following the lead car, and after a quick uphill first km of 3:11, I had opened up a decent lead. I was feeling pretty good - and was just concentrating on running with good form. From then on the km markers seemed to tick round nicely - 2km with a 3:15 split, 3km with a 3:27 km (slow but uphill), then I reached halfway in 13:08 (3:15). Feeling good.
I was expecting to slow down a bit but that didn't really happen. The 5km marker passed in 16:27 (3:19), 6km 19:45 (3:18), 7km 23:08 (3:23) - then time to try and run a quick last km which was helped by a nice 500m downhill stretch. I crossed the line in 26:17 so a very pleasing 3:09 last km split. My time trial was over!
No warm-down - just straight to the community centre for hot cups of tea and biscuits. Very nice. I picked up my prize at the presentation, then headed home for a few celebratory beers.
All up 11km for the day and 78.5km for the week. After struggling a bit post marathon I now feel I've turned the corner and this race has given me the confidence that I can run a decent half in 2 weeks time.