A solo drive to Balla for the 8km race. It's about an hour away and the time soon passed listening to the new Human Don't Be Angry band which is Malcolm Middleton's latest project. Really good stuff.
Conditions were good. Nice and cool and a bit of a breeze. A very short warm-up of around a km, then a few strides before lining up for the off. The course was the last 8km of the 10km course. It's a rollercoaster of a course - constant ups and downs and difficult to get into any sort of a rhythm.
Myself and Roger Barrett hit the front - the same pattern as last year in the Mayo League. I took it out really hard and tried a few surges in the opening km but these were to no avail. We were running shoulder to shoulder and that's how it continued for a majority of the race. Each km was getting slower and slower and by half way I had resigned myself to holding on for a final km shoot-out. The course in the back half of the race is definitely tougher. I sat in behind Roger and even tried a few token surges on the hills which were fairly half-hearted. Okay get to 7km and try to bring it home.
As we hit the last km we were still running together. I tried to lift the pace but I didn't seem to have much in the legs today but it was enough to open up a small gap. The last 500m is downhill but it felt like an uphill and I managed to hold on crossing the line in 26:01 for the win. Very happy with the time as it felt 30 seconds or so slower. The splits tell the story:
4km 3:19 (12:42)
8km 3:10 (13:19)
I finished up with a 5.2km warm-down to give me 14.2kms for the day. Hopefully better things to come in the remaining races in the series.
Out in the evening to watch the footy. Lots of beers consumed and wobbled home around 11pm.