A great time on a reasonably flat course, with a big push in the last km to make it under 39 minutes. A great way to end quite a good year with a few PBs and other times that were very close to PBs.
38m53s (30th; 1st 31:07, 1561 finishers. Splits: 3:50, 3:50, 3:47, 3:59, 3:51, 3:56, 3:53, 3:51, 4:05, 3:51; Average: 3:53).
I registered for the race back in September, as soon as entries opened and started a thread on boards.ie to help promote it. On the day before the race I realised that I had not received a race number or information about collecting one. I rang Aware and they arranged for one to be waiting for me at the Late Registration desk on the morning of the race.
It was very cold on the morning of the race. My running tights did not cover my ankles so they were cold on the cycle to the Phoenix Park. I cycled slowly, afraid I’d slip on some ice. I parked near the finish line and soon realised that I’d forgotten my run hat. Was that to be a bad omen?
I got my race number and did a 2km warm-up lap of walking/jogging with my cycling jacket and running tights still on. At one point I stopped to let a large herd of deer cross the road. It was nice to watch them, with the leader staring at something in the distance for a while before making a run for it. Even the deer seemed nervous about slipping on the road.
At about 10:20 I got into place for the race. There I realised that I had forgotten to keep my bicycle keys on me – another bad omen? The race announcer kept us entertained while there was a short delay. The portaloos had been set up right beside the start so he was telling people that they could dash in and be back in time for the start.
I started off gently and passed a good few people before the first turn. I was running at a good pace – 3m50s/km. I felt quite good, not tired, despite only 1 training run in the week before (mainly because of icy paths). The km markers seemed about 150m late but not a big deal as I’d forgotten by stopwatch too so I was using Garmin for lap times (I’m surprised I remembered my runners!).
The first climb out of the Furry Glen was tougher than I remembered from the NCBI 10k back in April. I finished the first 5k in 19m17s – perfect for a great 10k time.
I held my place for most of the next 4k. I caught up with the walkers at about 7.5km. Most of them were on one side of the road so easily passed. On the climb out of the Furry Glen the groups of women walkers there were not so accommodating and I had to zig and zag through them.
At 9km I saw that it was about 35m so I knew that a sub 39m finish was possible if I pushed it. I said the same to a runner beside me (he had been ahead of me for the previous 8km) and he said he’d try to hold on behind me.
I pushed it, encouraged by the possibility, no, likelihood, of a good time. I finished in 38m53s, delighted and tired.
I forgot to get my finisher’s medal – my brain was obviously not fully on, but thankfully my legs, lungs and heart were. A great finish to a surprisingly good year.