I decided on another race today. Originally I had planned to run the 10km in Manorhamilton but the 5 hour round trip was a bit too much. Instead I settled on a new 8km race in Irishtown which is just on the Galway/Mayo border and only 40 minutes up the road for me.
Preparation wasn't text book. See yesterday's post. Upon arrival and registration I had about 10 minutes for a warm-up which I did with John Byrne. Then it was time to get started.
Going back a bit, the road leading into Irishtown gave me a good clue as to what the course was to be like. I had driven the last couple of kms of the course and it was constant ups and downs. It was quite warm and I was just looking to blow out the cobwebs after last week's half and at the same time sweat out the night before.
I hit the front and started to push on. I was in the lead and despite running quickly and I felt like I had another gear if required. By 1km I had worked away from John and decided to keep pushing on. The kms seemed to tick along nicely and the course didn't seem too taxing. That said you don't tend to notice the drags when running well. By halfway I must have opened up a good lead and without warning I started to struggle.
The next couple of kms were a real grind. I think there were a few hills but that was only part of the problem, the body didn't seem willing. Slowly but surely I could hear John getting closer to me and by 5km he had caught me. No messing from John, he went straight past and by 6km I'd say he already had a 10 second lead.
Around this point we had made the last turn for home and I knew from the drive in there were some nasty hills. I had one final throw of the dice to see if I could close the gap on the first hill but with no joy. So I pushed on as best I could crossing the finish line in second place in a time of 26:22 (John ran 26:04).
Overall I was quite pleased with my performance today. I was happy with the time on a tough course and the second half slowdown was probably due to my poor preparation. Well done to John who looks to be going from strength to strength - great to see.
I finished up by running the course again with a few of the Mayo runners. Not at a sluggish pace either. That gives me around 17kms for the day.
All in all a really enjoyable day. The whole town seemed to be behind the race and there was a really nice feel to the event. Lots of credit must go to the organisers and with over 200 runners taking part lots of money was raised for the local hospice.
Here are the splits:
4km 3:18 (12:57)
8km 3:17 (13:25)