Short version: It rained and rained, we ran in the rain and it rained.
Long version: Well, it was raining...The race was due to start at 8pm and I got there just after 7:30. As it was raining I got out of the car in all my running gear, rather than get any other clothes wet too. In the hall at the GAA pitch I got my number (€12 for entry) and realized that it must be getting close to start time. So I jogged about 1k from there to the start line (my warm up!) while pinning on my number.
A few hundred runners were hanging around the start area (in the rain) waiting for the start, so I did a bit of dynamic stretching and got under a tree, although I couldn't get any wetter at this stage! We were told to get ready and we all moved up, then we had to move back behind the line, then we moved up and had to move back again (getting cold now) and eventually someone shouted "GO!". I was in the middle of the pack which, on reflection, was too far back to get a good start. After a couple of minutes I was able to break through the bunch and get up to a happy pace. I started out at about 4:15min/k pace, a bit too fast for the start. I had a look at the elevation the day before and it showed two hills, the biggest about 2.6k in, so I held back to save some energy. What I didn't know was that the elevation chart had "dramatized" the hills...grrr.
Anyway I kept a good pace and tried to run near someone who was going at the same pace as myself, so I wouldn't get carried away. That worked and when I realized the hills were a bit of a "no show" I put the pace on again. Photo below is me coming in to the only water station, less than 1k to go...
My last 1k I didn't have much to spare and would have liked to have gone faster but given the conditions I was pretty much going as fast as I could. In the distance I could see the finishing line and 22:xx on the clock. I couldn't make out the seconds due to people and rain etc, but I knew I was close to breaking my PB! I pushed again and when I got about 200m to the end I saw 22:50 (or so) and I knew I wouldn't get a PB. I kept going and finished strong (in the rain!). Unofficial time 23:33, just 9 seconds slower than my PB I set a year ago. We all got handed bottles of water at the end while we handed back the timing chips. In my head I was saying, "if I had done x or y I would have been faster..." but that's for another day.
I did a 1.5k cool down jog (in the rain of course) and headed in to the hall for the post-race refreshments: tea/coffee, sandwiches, cake and sticky buns! All the goody bags had been handed out already, as many more had turned up than they were expecting, but they know who got their bag and who didn't and I was assured that one will be sent out. I didn't get to meet any club members unfortunately, but I stayed and chatted for a few mins in the hall with other runners, did some stretching and got dried off and went home. Of course it had stopped raining by this time, ha ha!
P.S. Race results here
Official time was 23:37