Tuesday is for racing. Well it has been for the last 6 weeks. Tonight the attention turned to Loughrea in the final run of the 5km series.
I managed to scam a lift with Brian (many thanks) and we arrived in good time to allow a lap of the course warm-up. It was very cold and also windy and the start of the course was a slow gradual climb into the wind for the best part of a kay. The next couple of clicks were much better, flat in places with some slight ups and downs. Then between 3km and 3.9km there was a much steeper hill, and the final 1.1km was all downhill with wind on the back. This promised to be a tough course so I though that another sub 16 would be decent.
The start of the race was a bit of a disaster. The large crowd was struggling to get in position behind the timing mats and then suddenly we were all racing with no warning. I was surprised by this and got off to a shocking start but within about 100m I had gotten into my running and taken the lead. In between my warm-up lap and the start of the race there had been a massive deluge. This meant that the course was now very wet with a few puddles to avoid to keep you honest. But to balance things up the wind had dropped considerably and all in all it was very good conditions for racing.
The tough first km showed a split of 3:09. I've come to the opinion that I can run a decent hill if it's at the start of a race. The course then flattened out and I attacked the next couple of kms with times of 3:04 and 3:08. That's 9:21 with 2km to go so maybe...
Then the big hill. I felt like I was running strongly and was giving it my all. The time for that part of the course didn't agree. A 3:41! So I now had to run a sub 3 last km just to get under 16.
A big push down the hill. I don't think I could have run this section any quicker. This was a flat out sprint. I crossed the line in 15:55 so a 2:53 last km which I think must be my quickest ever km in a race. Another win for the old boy.
A couple of kms warm-down so a total of 12kms for the day. I finished up having a few pints in the Loughrea Hotel. Good to meet some new people and receive some positive feedback on my rubbish blog.
So what to do now on Tuesday evenings? There's a 10km in Annaghdown in 2 weeks time so that's not too long to wait.
A couple of photos from last night (thanks to Tony). This is at the start:
And this is at the finish. The 6 digit salute: