Third time I would run this race and I was excited and confident when going into it. I knew I would never hit my first time of 1:46:35, but I was confident of being able to smash last year’s time of 2:02:09. That is, until I started!
After worrying about the forecast of torrential rain and howling gales, I was pleasantly surprised to instead find sauna-like conditions of near 20 degrees and little rain. I pre-hydrated with plenty High Five Zero drink beforehand and headed to the start with everyone else. Off we went along the congested road at a slow pace, until we turned the corner and hit the first (and probably steepest) hill of the day. Immediately I knew that this was going to be a tough race.
I got a little worried in the early miles of this race as I was starting to struggle before the 4 mile mark. The hills were tough, the legs were feeling weak and the heat was… well… hot. I decided to take a walk/run strategy and would walk the steeper hills and try to make up some time on the descents.
Around the 6 mile marker I could hear a whole lot of noise and I could see an explosion of red and yellow. That meant only one thing – a Fetchpoint. Other Fetchies there playing music, cheering loudly and squirting us with lovely, cool water. Bliss! After a hyperactive run through here, waving at everyone I quickly made my way around the corner and out of site, before coming to a walk again up the last big hill.
After this point I managed to get myself into a steady 8:30 to 9 minute mile pace. The sun would now occasionally hide behind the clouds and there was a nice breeze to run into. Looking at the mileage and the time remaining, it was clear that to continue in this pace would see me hit sub 2 hours. Given the conditions and how I felt early in the race, I was more than happy with that. With 3 miles to go, it started to look like I could even manage a 1:55 so pushed on a bit. The last wee bit of the race still saw me looking for a 1:55, so I went for it. Down the steep hill we had started on, round the corner and into the park and through the finish line with an average pace of 7:35 for the last wee bit. A huge grin and sigh of relief as I had my chip taken off and my medal hung round my neck. Off to see my official time before grabbing some of the food that was laid out for us.
As usual, a brilliant race by the Stoney lot. Well ran, police and ambulance presence on route as well as Red Cross first aid. A very generous 5 water stations on the way round, and very welcome in that heat. The goody bag and medal were brilliant too.
Position: 178 out of 338
Chip Time: 1:55:21
Gun Time: 1:55:42
1) 1m – 8:27(8:27/m) 157/169bpm 149cal
2) 1m – 8:07(8:07/m) 165/169bpm 152cal
3) 1m – 9:10(9:10/m) 167/173bpm 174cal
4) 1m – 11:04(11:04/m) 164/171bpm 205cal
5) 1m – 8:26(8:26/m) 167/171bpm 159cal
6) 1m – 8:36(8:36/m) 163/174bpm 157cal
7) 1m – 10:37(10:37/m) 160/171bpm 181cal
8) 1m – 9:13(9:13/m) 160/168bpm 158cal
9) 1m – 8:45(8:45/m) 156/164bpm 132cal
10) 1m – 8:33(8:33/m) 158/164bpm 130cal
11) 1m – 8:48(8:48/m) 161/166bpm 137cal
12) 1m – 8:28(8:28/m) 161/166bpm 118cal
13) 0.97m – 7:22(7:35/m) 167/176bpm 113cal