Out to Annaghdown for the Summer Solstice 10km - a lovely town situated on the bay with some of the nicest trimmed bushes I have ever seen...I felt like I was in decent nick so was looking forward to a good hard hit-out in the build-up to my sub 32 attempt on the track at the end of July.
Conditions weren't ideal - it was constant fine rain and a fair bit of wind around, but at least it was nice and cool. That probably put a few people off as the numbers looked down on previous years.
A short 2km warm-up with Brian and Chris and we were soon lining up at the start. I didn't get my greatest start (not paying attention) but by the time we rounded the first left-hand turn I had taken the lead and started to put the foot down. The first 4km is run in the same direction - plenty of undulations but nothing too taxing with perhaps the wind on the back at this point. My km splits were metronome like and after a couple of kms I had started to open up a handy lead.
Through 4km and then another left turn. Through 5km in 16:12 and feeling pretty good but I knew the back half of the course was tougher - especially the section between 7 and 9kms. I was still running well up to 7km and as soon as I hit that point I still felt like I was ticking along nicely but the km splits disagreed. Perhaps the wind had picked up as it was certainly tough going. A bit disheartened I crawled up the last drag by the graveyard just after 9km - then upped the tempo for the run to the line.
I crossed in 32:49 for the win so all in all happy with that given the conditions plus the fact I was running Hans. My best 10km in a good while so good to see things on the improve - not bad running with a throat infection as confirmed by the doctor a few hours before the race...
Despite the conditions there were some good runs by many with both Paddy and Chris both running PB's in 2nd and 3rd place. Well done to everyone who took part.
A warm-down with Conor and Brian and back to the school for some hot drinks and the presentation. All up 15.0kms for the day.
Here are the splits:
5km 3:17 (16:12)
10km 3:14 (16:37)
Some great photos courtesy of Jane. Here are a few. My poor start:
Crossing the finish line:
Can I swap this for a beer?
The podium. Paddy on the right needs a good feed:
The presentation. Thanks to Paul and the gang for putting on this fine race: