Thursday, 17 May 2012

Helensburgh 10k

Activity on Garmin Connect | Results to appear here

Another year, another Polaroid Series.

Last year I surprised myself at Helensburgh, with a time around 35:18. I knew I was nowhere near that fit tonight, and the legs were slightly sore and tired after Cornalees Hill Race last night.

Helensburgh 10k Route
The weather was cool and rainy with little wind, so pretty comfortable for running. I was lined up with all the usual suspects: Scott Martin, Russell Whittington, Bruce Carse, Alex Chalmers, Dave Thom, Paul Carroll, Steven Prentice, Mick McLoone, Stephen Mulrine. On a good day, I would reckon to beat about half of these guys, but tonight I wasn't so sure.  I set off with intent to get around the first few sharp corners, and saw Gillan Scott snapping away.

I passed a few folk on the first straight and first slight climb, but looking ahead realised there were only about 3 runners ahead between me and the Shettleston and Ronhill Cambuslang vests disappearing into the distance, which meant I must have been sitting around 8th.  This was further up the field than I meant to be, and soon I was dropping places and chasing after a group with Paul, Steven, Mick, etc.

I wasn't really feeling totally up for a challenge, so I backed off until Scott Martin and Dave Thom came by. I then chased them until 5km, thinking I might reel them in in the 2nd half.

Once down on the sea front and on the home drag, we seemed to be battling into a headwind, and I suddenly felt pretty jaded, and convinced I was about to be caught. I didn't want to keep looking around, but I knew somebody was closing me down. Eventually I realised it was Marco Consani, as he pulled alongside and tried to go past with some momentum. Marco was looking pretty strong, so I said to "Well done, you can catch a few more now", but Marco didn't seem so convinced. We then ran together for a couple of km, with me putting in a few surges to try to keep the pace up. I had plan to break away at 8km and really speed up for the last 2km, but I never saw any 8km marker, and I didn't want to faff around looking at my Garmin, so it was more like 9km that I suddenly speeded up and started giving chase to Dave Thom and Scott Martin. I'm sure if I'd have gone a bit earlier I would have caught them both, but as it was I was happy to coast in behind Dave, in his words: "One Westies Captain giving deference to a former Westies Captain".

Photo courtesy of Gill Scott at Scott Sport Photography
Anyhow, having felt like I was coasting for most of the race, I was pretty suprised and delighted to find I'd dipped under 36 minutes with a time of 35:52 for 20th position, and only about 30 seconds slower than last year.

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