We had various club members take part, each with different goals. A group of us met up in wave 1, for those aiming for under 80mins, and got chatting before the start.
I kept myself held back for the first 2k or so until I found a happy pace, one that I could keep for the distance. I knew the hills came at around 10k, so I wanted to keep something in the tank until then. The first water station was at about 4k in, but only on one side of the road. I grabbed a cup and didn't slow my pace much and only took a couple of small sips of water.
From 6.5 to 9.5k we were running along the main road through the park, Chesterfield Avenue, which is reasonably flat. Then we turned right and went downhill followed by the first real hill at 10.5k. I dropped my pace a bit, but kept the cadence up and pumped the arms to keep me moving, which definitely helped.
At around 11.5k we had the second (and last) water station, just before more hills. I decided to take a cup and walk to get as much in as I could and started back attacking the hills again. Just past the 14k mark I knew we were past all the hills and didn't have much left in the race. I knew there were just two right hand corners left (memorizing the course route beforehand is a big help!), and I knew the distance left (thanks to my garmin), so I treated it as a progression run. I didn't want to get over the line and be full of energy, I wanted to put in as much of myself as I could.
I managed to get over the finish line in 1:16:59 (chip time) and chatted to Neal while others finished and joined us. All in all it was a great race, well organized and a better route than last year. Time to get more training in for the Dublin Half Marathon in three weeks!
All photos courtesy of Neal