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Wild blizzardy weather first thing thankfully calmed down in time for the race.
I tried to run tactically by resisting the usual urge to hammer off too hard at the start. Instead I tucked in behind 2 of the many Bella runners, and sheltered from the wind during the first 5 miles down to Dumbarton. My other plan was to stay behind Paul Thompson for as long as possible, and resist any urge to overtake. This plan more or less worked up until the A82 Bowling Roundabout, but like last year at Mile 8 I started feeling tired, and could feel my pace dropping, which allowed Paul to open up an uncloseable gap, and Robert Rogerson to catch me around Mile 9.
I was overheating by now having started in a long-sleeved Helly, but I managed to extricate this and throw it to Muffy at the Mountblow roundabout. I then hoped to chase down Robert but instead was caught by Graham Kennedy of Motherwell. We ran more or less side by side until the final mile, but I couldn't keep the pace going and Graham got away.
My main goal was to get properly under 1:20 as part of the general marathon training. As I passed under Kilbowie Road with 250 metres to go, I was slightly stressed that I might miss 1:20 like last year. I didn't want to make the same mistake twice, so upped the pace and managed to cover the final 250m in 47 seconds, which is 5:02/mile pace - and by far the fastest I ran in the entire race!
So I finished 21st in 1:19:30, just 11 seconds behind Graham and Robert who were 3rd and 4th V40s. This was faster than any of the half marathons I ran last year, so I was reasonably happy with the result, especially seeing as I felt pretty comfortable with the pace most of the way, and all the kilometre splits were well within my target 4:00/km pace for a sub 2:50 London Marathon.
The race was won by Kerry Liam-Wilson of Ronhill Cambuslang in 1:12:30. The only other Westies running were Katy Mackintosh and Tony Ritchie who ran 1:33:17 and 1:40:20 respectively. Thanks for all the shouts of support from the Westie marshals on the second half of the course! And thanks to Davie Hall for some of the photos.