A record turnout at Helensburgh 10k, the opening race of the Polaroid 10k Series now in its 25th Year. The conditions were pretty windy and blustery, but comfortably cold to prevent any overheating.
I hadn't run a 10k in ages, so wasn't really sure what to expect, but I was hoping for some residual fitness from all that marathon training when I ran every day from December to March.
My only plan was to keep Paul Thompson and Niall vaguely in my sites, whilst trying not to overcook and it fade away during the race.
My first 2 kilometres were 3:25 and 3:24, but already Paul and Niall were a good 5 or 6 places ahead. I ran with Dave Houston for a bit, but suddenly found myself pressing on until I was joined by Nick Reid of Bellahouston at around 3km. Nick and I ran together side by side for the next 2km, before the elastic broke and Nick pulled out a bit of lead.
The turn along the seafront just after 5km was into a battering headwind, and I felt like I was grinding to a halt. I was caught by Euan Geddes (Garscube) who helped maintain the pace along King Street, with 10 or so runners lined up ahead. I could clearly see Paul and Niall, but they were not within realistic catching distance. Instead I focussed on picking off the 5 or so runners directly ahead, but still feeling OK, and suddenly realising I could Nick Reid again with about 200 metres to go, and putting in a last ditch sprint to attack Niall who was coming back rapidly.
I crossed the line in 21st place in 35:20, with Niall one place ahead, and Paul Thompson 2 places ahead of Niall. So funnily enough my plan of chasing Niall and Paul more or less worked, and gave me my fastest 10k time in over 3 years.