Race day dawned and I was up at 7am, though I’d had an interrupted night as I kept checking I hadn’t missed either of my alarms. Drove down to Cabot Circus and parked up with a number of other runners and we all ambled down to the Harbourside. The weather was nice and warm and I did a few stretches before making my way to by allotted pen (by race bib colour). There was a big cheer for the wheelchair racer setting off 15 minutes before wave 1 (we saw him later on the Portway and he got another cheer) and a thirty second silence for Boston.
Then wave 1 was off. About four or five minutes after it started my section crossed the start line. It was all a bit crowded and hard to get a clean line and I’m sure if I had been able to get a clearer start I’d have managed an even better time as the stop-start of trying to get through gaps and onto clean road was energy sapping. By the time we got onto the Portway proper there was much more space around everyone, though there were frequent trips up onto the pavement to execute overtaking manoeuvres.
I managed to pick up my pace and pretty much maintain it after the slowish start. I managed to control my breathing and got a drink in just after halfway (though overshot the bin, I didn’t account enough for my speed when throwing). Mind over matter and some deep breaths seemed to help with light stitching. I will also be interested to see what position I crossed the start line in versus what position I crossed the finish line in as it felt like I was passing people more than I was being passed.
The final km was the worst in terms of gradient and road surface. This was the section with all of the cobbles and then a slight incline as you turn with 500m to go. It is then downhill to the finish line though, and I was thrilled to get home sub 50 minutes as I was aiming for 50-55. Thank you to the people lining the route cheering us all on, it can’t have been easy to keep their enthusiasm up for the whole 9,000 or so runners. A week or so off and the training will begin for the Bristol half marathon in September.
Official results: 2,173rd place; chip time: 49 mins 09 secs