A massive improvement on my 2009 PB - I knocked 45s off that PB, with a lot of thanks to a downhill final km.! 18m10s! Wow.
18m10s (390th; 1st 14:15, 1188 finishers. Splits: 3:44, 3:43, 3:40, 3:36, 3:27; Average: 3:38).
Since the half marathon in September I maintained a reasonable fitness level, doing about two 8km runs per week. I did a few 5km training runs in the week before this race. On the Tuesday before the race I did 5km in 19m17s and went even better two days later – 19m01s!! That was only 6sec off my PB from this race in 2009. So, I was reasonably confident that I could break my 5k PB in the race.
I cycled to the finish line and parked my bike at the nearby railings. I jogged up to the start and did some warm-up runs. The starting pens for <20m and <16m were mostly empty (you know a race has very fast people when you see a <16m pen for 5k!). I met Rob Cummins of Wheelworx and asked him about his recent ultra race in Cambodia.
Then we were all called to the start so into the pen and off we went. I was behind Aishling of Wheelworx and I passed her after a few hundred metres. I kept Rob in my sights because I knew that he is a fast runner so I figured that keeping with him would get me a good time. I was surprised to see that my pace after 1km was a about 3m40s/km – a good pace for breaking my PB (I struggled to calculate the exact finish time if I maintained that pace – I chose to round up and subtract: 4m x 5 = 20m. 20s x 5 = 100s. 20m – 100s = 18m20m).
At the 3km mark Rob and one or two near him seemed to slow a tiny bit. I took this opportunity to move ahead of that group. I kept up a good cadence and good form until we hit the downhill stretch of Upper Glen Road. On the downhill I saw a pace of 2m41s/km on my watch!!!
I pushed to the finish line at the bottom of the hill and was very, very surprised with my 18m10s finish time. This was a MASSIVE PB – I knocked 45s off my 2009 PB. The downhill of the last km contributed a lot to time but the 19m01s training run meant that, even without that downhill, I definitely would have gotten a new PB.
I got my Jingle Bells mug and goodie bag and went back to my bike and cycled home.
A short while later I got the results text – 90th place.
At home I realised that I’d left my HRM strap at the race finish. The following night, in the rain, armed with a Ikea wind-up torch, I went back with my 2 boys and found it right where I’d parked my bike. I was quite relieved. I will be more careful in the future.