Record entry this year, 31 runners (some of those were walkers admittedly). The sun was shining, and we were set for a good run around Wicksteed Park. Then back to the office for a cold beer and BBQ.
I had put myself down as a sub 45 minute runner (the course being 6Km). At the time I had only just run 5K, so was unsure how that would pan out.
The runners were divided into 5 groups, with staged starts at 5 minute intervals. I was in the third group, a group of 5. (The 5th and last group was a group of 1 - show off!).
On our marks get set and go. We were off! 2 of our group shot off, the rest of set off nice and steady. For the first 5 minutes I ran side-by-side with a colleague, but as we hit the first hill long legs paid off, and I broke away. I was now tailing the 2nd guy in our group, who I passed a few minutes later. Thankfully I had RunKeeper to keep my pace in check.
Grabbed a bottle of water on the way into the park, but could not open it. Aaaagh! Ended up unscrewing the top, which meant one slug in the left eye, one in the right eye. and third time lucky somewhere near my mouth.
Plod, plod, plod went the run, passing the odd straggler from earlier groups. All the usual thoughts;
"Why am I doing this?"
"Can't wait until I am on the home straight"
Before I knew it I was heading out of the park for the home straight. I must confess that I did walk for 20 seconds up hill out of the park (Malcy said it is OK to walk uphill. ). Didn't help the breathing though, it was hot and sunny, and I was hotter, a lot hotter!
Then I was free, a good half mile steady downhill with a head-on breeze. Lovely. On my own now, all the way in for the last 3/4 mile.
Managed to pick up the pace for the last 200m, so I ran in quicker, and looked a little more serious about the whole thing.
And the time.....
32:55 for 6Km. I did it, a new PB distance, and a cracking time. Couldn't believe it. Mind you I was knackered! never has our cold stone reception floor looked so inviting.
Then to crown it all 5th overall. And of course the 'show-off' in Group 5 on his own. He won. 25:44. Youch that was quick!
I feel so good, and so looking forward to my graduation run on Saturday.