What a flippin' hot day! I didn't see that coming. In light of the conditions I made sure I stopped at all the water stations to take on board fluid. That may have cost me ten seconds a time but I'm sure I would have lost more time had I not.
I had a good run all in all. True, I was over five minutes slower than last year - the hot conditions could account for some of that, but alas, not the larger portion. No, the main difference between now and then is simply training or in my case the lack of it. Still I enjoyed it and ran a sensible race.
After the first mile or so and a somewhat steady and controlled start I was lying in 28th place - it always take a mile or two for a long race to settle into the natural order. I needed to be sensible and not go too quick early doors. The consequences of over cooking it on such a hot day - nice - could have been disastrous and fortunately I was wearing my good head.
With the race settled I started to reel in those ahead. One by one I closed them down. As the miles passed I headed up the field. By the eight mile point - the killer hill - I was into 26th. By the top of the killer hill I was up to 24th. Ahead I could see yellow top and far ahead of him, green top. I thought I could take the yellow but considered the green a place too far - it wasn't like I'd ever catch the brown, blue, pink or black - they were out of sight.
Anyway, I had good support from Helen and the hounds which spurred me onward and upward. By mile eleven I was closer to the yellow but still had work to do. Both yellow and green took on water at the last water stop and it was there I made my move. I sailed through the water station and caught yellow and passed him on the penultimate hill. After holding him off on the short downhill, green was within touching distance. I ran the final hill as best I could - why does a hill always seem longer when your tired? There are a few false summits - OK, that's overstating it, but by the top I was clear in 22nd and I catching a lone Nailsea runner fast but the hill ran out too soon and once we got onto the final downhill charge to the finish there was no way I could get him - would have been a bonus anyway as he was out of sight until that last hill.
My time of 1:33:53 is indeed my slowest half marathon for a few years but I'm pleased with 22nd from a field of 300-ish. My feet are aching. My back is aching - didn't expect that - but legs feel OK. I guess they feel OK at the moment but I'm guessing Tuesday will be the day.