|Kris and I|
4:34:25 90th overall and 4th in my age group.
|Getting ready for the start|
There were 3 Cursaders doing it. Olwyn, former champion was there. Unfortunately this year she was suffering from a really bad flu but bravely still turned up. Kris was running for the second time and was in a rich vein of form of recent times. We had no realistic expectations of national medals but age groups were a reality.
|Kris looking strong|
|Olwyn struggled with a flu today|
There were 3 pacers at 4:30, 4:45 and 5hrs. My strategy was to fall in behind the 4:30 and stay there as long as I could.
At 10am we were off. My strategy went out the window immediately as I went out ahead of the 4:30 pacer. Lap 1 which is 300m longer than the rest was done in 28 mins. I was already 2 mins up on last year and felt OK. 26 minute laps followed for quite sometime as I put time in the bank. Kris joined me on Lap 3 and we stayed in touch until lap 5. Just past half marathon (1:45), we came upon Olwyn who was visibly struggling and slowing. She said she would try lap 5 and then make a decision. Kris and I pushed on clocking off the 26 minute laps. Olywn would go onto finish in 4:49 and come 2nd in her age group. That is guts.
|With Brian Ankers lap 5|
|Passed with 3K to go|
|Beat into 4th by 7 secs (over the shoulder)|
Meanwhile I pushed on and managed a 3:46 marathon but have to say struggled from that point on losing valuable minutes. Gary the 4:30 pacer caught me coming upto the end of Lap 9 and would take 5 minutes out of me on the last lap as would Brian Ankers. Around the 40K mark I was passed by someone who looked a similar age to me. This put the pressure on but I just couldn't stay with him, but did manage to finish strong getting closer and closer near the finish, It turned out he was in my age group and he cane 3rd and I got 4th by an agonising 7 secs. I ended up with a 4:34:35 a whopping 47 minute improvement than last year, a course best by 25 minutes and less than 1 minute behind my PB on a much tougher course.
The atmosphere was brilliant at the finish and we were all delighted with our efforts and thankfully all secured qualification for next year already. Only 1 person over 5hrs was awarded a finish, every one else was DNFed. 20% DNF rate was significant.
Polar stats for the day Click here