About 30 minute drive to this race. I surprised myself by not getting lost and arriving in plenty of time for registration and a 4km warm-up. A bit of confusion as to whether this was an 8km race or a 5 miler (not that it makes much difference), but after the warm-up I could see the course was marked in miles so 5 miles it was to be.
The weather was glorious. A little breeze but we were bathed in spring sunshine (11 degrees). I listened to the course description over the loudspeaker and headed back to the car to change into my racing flats. It sounded basically flat with nothing to worry about. I'd forgotten my GCH race singlet so I had to make due with another top. No problem.
The countdown was soon underway and we were racing. A good crowd of over 200 I'd say and I went out quickly following the lead car. A slight uphill section at the start, but the course soon flattened out followed by some gradual downhill. The mile markers take their time arriving when you are used to kms but I was pleased to tick off the first mile in 5:01 - time in the bank. No other runners around me and I was soon taking a left turn into a more exposed section. At this point it felt quite breezy but I focused on the lead car and after a few twists and turns over a very flat section the second mile marker was passed with a 5:10 split. Again ahead of schedule and so far so good.
The third mile was a bit of a slog. Again there was some turns and there may have been a slight uphill section into the breeze but nothing too daunting. I certainly did not back off and after another left turn the third mile was passed with a 5:18. Slowing a little but 15:29 with 2 miles to go and I was confident I could find something for the finish.
The fourth mile and I was back on track. A more sheltered part of the course and again predominantly flat and straight with the breeze on the back. This suits my style of running and I had soon knocked off another mile in 5:09. One final push required. The start of the last mile was bloody tough. A long uphill drag that I estimate must have went on for a good 600m. It felt like I was slowing but thankfully the course levelled off and there was a good downhill section to the finish where I really picked up the pace to cross the line in first place in 25:46 (a 5:08 last mile).
Very happy with the time (5:09 per mile or 3:12 per km). According to McM that's equivalent to a 32:18 10km (a big PB) but not where I want to be for the half (1:11:52). But what does he know!
A great day out - well organised and hopefully lots of money raised for charity. I finished up running another lap of the course as a warm-down so all up 20km for the day.
That's 86.9km for the week. Only 2 weeks now until the half so I'll do a few decent sessions next week before a one week taper. I'm off to Barcelona this week for 4 nights for some R&R with the wife and zero kids in tow. Which is nice.