Fond memories of this race being my first ever win in 2010. Today was my 5th running of the event and I was looking forward to a good hit-out to see how the legs were.
Around 3kms warm-up and then lined up for the start. The course had been modified slightly this year - it was mostly the same route as before but in reverse. They'd also cut-out the loop around the green at the start by adding in another section in the woods.
We started and I hit the lead. I thought I'd give the first km a rattle, hopefully make a break and then keep it nice and steady to the finish. Well that wasn't to be. Through the first km and another guy was still with me. As we hit the forest trail I moved over and let him take up the running. It wasn't someone I recognised so I decided to shadow him and wait for the last section on the road.
The trail is nice and flat but you have to watch your footing and there are a fair few twists and turns. Through the next couple of kms and I could sense that the other guy was working harder than me. That said, I wasn't feeling great myself but I stuck to my plan to attack on the road section.
We hit the road and I stretched out the legs. I felt tired but managed to open up a little gap but it was one of those breaks where you never felt comfortable that you'd done enough. At 4km I was perhaps only 5 seconds in front and I knew the last km was going to be a tough one with a few uphill drags. It sure was a killer run home but I'd saved a little and by the time I could see the finish line I'd done enough and I crossed the line for the win in 15:48.
It turns out the guy in second was over from America and he trains with the Atlanta track club. Just goes to show you never know who's going to pop up at these races. Not the easy win I though it would be and looking back I seemed to be hurting more today than on Tuesday. Happy with the time - my best time here previously was 16:06 so nice to comfortably beat that today. Average heart rate today was 155 with a peak of 162 so I was certainly working out there.
A couple of kms warm-down to give me 10kms for the day. Very enjoyable all round and well done to Tony and all the organisers for a great event.