A long drive out to Clifden for the Sky Road 10km. A short warm-up of around 2km with Michael O'Connor before we lined up for the 2pm start.
The course itself was a brute - made tougher with windy humid conditions. The first mile was predominantly uphill, then it flattened out a little but the general theme was still upwards. At around 2km I was in the lead and Michael made a break and I had nothing in response. I settled into second position and at about 4km I was almost reduced to a walk as we were confronted with a steep uphill. To rub salt into the wound I was overtaken and as we rounded the turnaround cone at about 4.5km for the run back into town. I was so delirious I missed the chute and ran round the outside of the cones taking a nice wide line...
The run back was definitely easier but by this stage the damage was done and I had nothing in the legs. Second place wasn't too far up the road and by the time we reached 6km I was finally recovered from the hill at 4km. I upped the pace and regained second position but Michael was in a different class today and there was no way I was going to catch him. The last km was a real blessing as it was all downhill and I cruised home in a time of 34:05.
I think that's my slowest 10km since March 2010. As mentioned the course was as tough as you could get but that said I should have run probably 30 seconds quicker (the winner ran 33:07 so I would have still been a good bit back). The hills totally destroyed me so perhaps time to add some hill training into the schedule!
Well done to Michael. Great to see him back in good form and if he sticks with the training he'll run sub 68 in the national half marathon in September - if not quicker. The man has class in spades (former National Marathon champion with PB's for 10km of 30 mins, half 66 mins and full 2:20 from memory). Also well done to Helen another Harrier who had a blinding run to win the women's race in a shade over 40 minutes.
I finished up with a 4km warm-down to give me 16kms for the day. A meal out and a few beers in the evening including lots of darts and pool.
Tally for the week - 85.6kms.
5km 3:46 (17:30)
10km 3:08 (16:35)