This race was one of those I signed up for months and months ago. I’m not really sure why, it just seemed a good excuse to visit Portsmouth again and also re-run one of my first ever races.
Following Berlin I somewhat pushed it to the back of my mind, my running has been sparse to say the least, baring the two races I have blogged about I have barely put my trainers on…
Roll on Sunday morning, race day, over 100 miles from home. I had already established I didnt have my SIS energy drink, nor my gel belt and add to the list no safety pins. I thought the last odd, as they are normally in the race envelope although there is a part of me that recollects possibly using them for the Royal Parks Half 3 weeks ago! So far the list of things I had forgotten was just about passable, I knew id get pins at the start and I could live without the SIS. However, what was about to happen next was a major cockup. As I went to put my chip on my trainers I opened my shoe bag to be presented with my trail shoes, Fudge, I couldn’t run a road race in these. At this moment I had 2 options, 1 pull out or 2 run in my day to day trainers. Had I been in mid-training for a longer run I’d have probably opted for option 1. However, as this was my last planned race of 2011 I figured what was the worst that could happen so went for option 2. I should point out my day to day trainers are kswiss and designed to be run in (but they are neutral and and don’t have the right support). Pulling the laces tight the chip was added, I cant deny, I was definitely apprehensive about running.
Time for breaky, Laura laughed about how my food choice seemed more extreme than most other runners in the hotel who opted for bananas. I figured it was a late start and I could eat what I wanted really. I had a nice suprise when Chris my best man turned up un announced to support me. I was shocked and very grateful!
Wow, forth paragraph and I haven’t even started the race, readers I apologise. At this point I should just fast forward to the start, where due to Martin Lewis (my boss) running the race, I had the fortune of starting with the celebs and media at the front. Standard banter between Iwan Thomas and I ensued, it seems we constantly race the same events. Whilst he has the upper edge on shorter distances of 10km and under its about this distance where I could possibly beat him.
The claxon went off, we were 3 rows from the front and the elite men went off like whippets. Iwan wasnt much different and wanting to keep up I clocked a sub 7 min first mile, way too quick for me and he was far ahead of me (so much for a slow first half mate!) I pulled back my pace and got into a rhythm that I should find ok to hangon to and take in the sights.
At one of the switchbacks at about 6 miles I clocked Iwan probably about 800meters ahead of me, tortoise and hair came to mind. Onwards I pushed, 7 miles no sign of him, 8 miles nothing, until about 8.7miles when way up in the distance I spotted him. Could I make back 200 meters in just over a mile…?
I pushed on at the hardest part of the course along the sea front with a head wind. Judging from my watch I was maintaining a consistent pace and Iwan got closer and closer. Somehow at about 9.2 miles I caught him. I pushed on, hoping to get enough distance to help with the final 400m (his optimum race distance). As I entered the final 200m over the tannoy I heard his name announced and I gave all I had. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him as I crossed the line, a part of me thought he had slowed to let me win (if you did Iwan, thanks )
Laura and Lara (Martin’s wife) met met right on the finish line and we waited to cheer Martin over. He did amazingly well completing the run in 1:28:10. For someone who hadn’t run that far ever he should be mighty pleased with his time.
Anyway 10m completed in 01:14:34, am pretty damn happy about that as going into the race I had no idea what form I was in and all things considered I can’t grumble at 7:30 min miles over the distance.
Its a bit odd as I write this I have no more events in my diary for 2011, the season appears to be over. Time to look back and reflect and ultimately decide what happens in 2012…