A perfect day for a race and even though I'm still in recovery mode I knew this would be a good one. The started the day with my usual pre breakfast run and I arrived at the race headquarters well ahead of time to allow time for a warm up and more importantly meet and chat with the usual suspects. My plan for today came in 3 parts, 1: to run a PB, 2: to run sub 17 min if I started well, 3: sub 18 as fallback. I hate including a fallback in my race plan as I believe you're either in or you're not and sometimes a fallback plan can give you a mental escape route but my way of preventing the cop out is to declare your plan to those you respect.
On the start line I spotted Eoin Brett from Newbridge AC and he regularly finishes ahead of me so I picked him out as a target and checked out his planned finish time which fitted in with my plan. We ran together as part of a group with Eoin leading the way up to 2k and I then took the lead to give Eoin a break and we then stayed together up until 3K before splitting up. I don't know if Eoin fell back or if I pushed on but by 4K I was out on my own and when you're on your own the incentive to push on isn't the same.
I can remember seeing the 4K marker and even though I knew in advance where it was I was thinking to myself that 1K is a long way to go and the voices in my head were telling me to slow down. I tried to push harder and don't know if I did but when I reached the home stretch on the Lucan Harriers running track it felt like my pace was slowing. In the distance I could hear my name being called and that pulled the trigger for the final sprint before the bend to the last 100M and I crossed the line in a new PB time of 17:20 which was enough to get me a category win in the O40.
Photos thank to: