Sunday is long run day, but this one was pretty long. I got to Temple Meads by 09:30, plenty of time to get over to Bath for an 11:00 race start, but the platform was already packed and the trains were delayed. The train I ended up on was a stopping one, so I didn’t get into Bath until 10:15 – not enough time to do anything other than scoot over to the runner’s village, dump my bag and head to the start. In the slow plod to the start I saw Russell Howard (who I knew was running) and a lady dressed as a Singer sewing machine, but none of the other people I knew were running today.
The start didn’t quite go off as planned (I guess a false start, I had my headphones in already) and there was the usual shuffle towards the line, slow down to a walk as people bunched up, then jog, slow down, and finally over the line. My sister had said she would be near the start, so I was keeping an eye out and trying to go at a sensible pace for the first km, but that didn’t happen. The start is downhill and you get to see the mass of people in front of you, which is impressive, but with all of the jinking around into gaps it is easier to go a little faster than intended. My target time was 1:48:00, which meant completing 21km, each at 05:07 min/km. My first non-sub 05:00 min/km was in the 7th km (it was exactly 05:00 min) and I finally hit my target pace in the 14th km.
Around 17km Russell Howard went past me and I was damned if I was going to be beaten by a comedian, so spent the next couple of km slowly catching him up and then passing him. At this point I bumped into Fleur (I had already seen Fi and John out on the course) and as we were commiserating about what was hurting the Howard passed me and I had nothing in response. The final 1.3km were a bit of a grind, but I crossed the line in 1:46:42 according to my GPS. When I looked up the provisional results they awarded me a 1:46:40 and position 2955. Yay, new pb! In 2014 I finished in position 3214 with an official time of 1:49:24, so a good improvement.
A technical t-shirt in the goody bag this year, and an entire bar of chocolate. We did end up at a dead standstill for a few minutes in the finish area though, as everything started seizing up. Home in time for the rugby (just, after more train delays). If anyone wants to contribute to my justgiving page, I was running in my cancer research shirt, it can be found here: Just Giving.