I managed a few kms warm-up and some strides before lining up for the start of the race. A few butterflies in the stomach for this track race - wearing running shorts with brown lining would have been appropriate.
The conditions looked good enough. Around 13 degrees and the high winds from earlier in the day had calmed a fair bit. Windier than what you would want, but the layout of the track with the sheltered home straight meant that the worst part of the lap (into the wind) was the final 50m of the last bend.
The gun sounded and I settled into second position. A quick first lap as is normally the case, then the dreaded mind games of counting down the laps. I was wearing the watch, but wasn't looking at the splits, just concentrating on the race at hand.
Not much to report until the last part of the race. I was still in second place right behind the leader and with 3 laps to go it was starting to get tough. The old chestnut of "I'll just give this one more lap" and imagine my surprise in completing the lap to hear the sound of the bell. I knew straight away that this was a mistake and called out that we still had 2 laps to go. The runner in front immediately gapped me and I focused on chasing him down.
At the end of the lap the scorers had realised their mistake and waved us through for another lap. I was only just behind but had no thoughts of kicking for home - way too early. With 200m to go I had drawn level, but this was met with a responsive surge. As we exited the final bend I had drawn level again and this time I kicked on and ran the last 100m full ball. I crossed the line in first place in a time of 15:14 with the runner in second credited with the same time. A great race.
Not a nice way to win a race by sitting in behind for 12 laps and not doing any of the work - sorry Kenny! You'll get me next time in the Streets of Galway.
Here are the km splits:
That has equalled my 5,000m PB from last year but this race felt a lot more comfortable. Hopefully that's a sign that better times are still possible...maybe even the magical sub 15?
I finished up with a 6.4km warm-down around the rugby pitches with the first four place-getters in the race. Then back to the track and got roped into running the last leg of a 4 x 100m relay. Good fun though my sprint speed left a lot to be desired.
All up 13.4km for the day. All those 400m sessions I've been doing lately finally seem to be paying dividends!