It turned out to be a lovely evening. A bit of a breeze but nothing to worry about. I ran down to the start from my home to collect my number, then a few kms warm-up with Fintan before lining up at the start. All the usual suspects were in attendance and it promised to be a good hit-out.
The same course as last year with the first km containing a nasty 600m climb. I was at the front with Peter as we pushed along. I felt pretty good and with the feedback from the first km marker of 3:13 it looked like I was in for a decent time. For the next couple of kms I settled into my running - the legs and breathing felt fine and I tried a few surges to shake Peter off but he was having none of it.
I probably backed off a little through the 4th km trying to save myself for a quick finish. Peter was still shadowing me and I knew he had a kick at the end so I decided to make my move as we rounded the last bend leaving about 500m to the finish. I kicked hard and immediately opened a small gap but there was still a long way to go and the finishing area didn't seem to be getting any closer! I told myself I was enjoying this and managed to maintain the pace crossing the line for the win in 15:45.
Very pleased with that and surprised I ran so well only 2 weeks post marathon. This was a few seconds quicker than when I won this race last year but tonight it felt quite comfortable (except for the burst of speed at the end)...
Here are the splits:
5km 2:57 (!!!)
I finished up with 5km warm-down. Lots of PBs out there tonight and although you'd say the course isn't the quickest going round, you can still run a decent time if you attack in the right places. Peter (2nd 15:48) and Fintan (3rd 16:16) both had super runs notching up 30 second plus PBs. Well done.
All up 13.5kms (approx) for the day. I'll certainly do 1 or 2 more of these races in the coming weeks to try and get a quicker time. I think sub 15:30 would be a nice stretch target!