A record turnout of 370 runners at this morning's Parkrun. The startline was therefore a bit of a scrum with quite a few unfamiliar faces.
I tried to rein in the start and went through the first 500 metres in 3:04/km pace with a bunch of 5 juniors belting off ahead of me. Once up the first climb I was sitting in 8th place behind the 5 juniors plus Ross Bark and Tommy Hearle who didn't look that far in front.
Given that I'm doing the Bellahouston 4k Cross Country tomorrow, I didn't want to totally gut myself, so instead concentrated on running smoothly and trying to speed up on the 2nd lap.
I passed 2 of the juniors at the end of the first lap, and then tried to press on and maybe catch someone else. I pushed hard up the final hill and suddenly realised I was more or less within catching distance of Tommy Hearle who didn't look like he was trying too hard. But once on the run downhill to the finish Tommy opened up and gap seemed uncloseable, however just as the ground levels out there is still a bit to do, so I put in a final effort and very nearly caught Tommy on the line, but not quite.
I felt like I was plodding round, so expected to do about 17:35, however my recorded time was 17:19 which is only 6 seconds off my PB, so with a bit more application my goal of sub 17 minutes does not look completely impossible. However with various other races coming up on Saturdays for the whole of Feb, I probably won't be able to do another Parkrun until early March.