Being a field of 30,000 across the two races distances meant the start was going to crowded. So I warmed up early and then managed to get a position reasonably close to the actual front. Once the gun had gone it took only 10 seconds to cross the official start line. As expected there were those people who knew they had no chance of keeping pace with the front runners, but insisted on starting there. Jogging at about 7-8min per kilometre in front people running at around 3:30-3:40/km in a big crowd is guaranteed to cause some collisions. Naturally it did.
Personally I relaxed through the start and just moved through the crowd as the gaps opened up. Somehow those gaps kept appearing at the right time and by the time we turned that first main corner to head down into the Domain tunnel there was enough clear space to do what I wanted.
What I wanted was to feel good during this race. This meant something completely different to a leisurely base training run. I had to feel like I was racing, like I was going fast and most of all like I was in control. This is exactly what happened. It was natural to run quickly. The recent races had managed to work in a good racing groove. I was almost on autopilot, however, I did need to concentrate on the hills to keep the pace up. Guess I hadn't done any real hillwork since the cross country two weeks ago.
The pace was quick for me, but it never really hurt. I managed to pass through the 10km mark a minute faster than my last 10km race. My legs protested a little, but they were only suggesting a slow down. Not demanding it this time. It was easily overriden. The next few kilometres took me into the city and with plenty of spectators to provide a lift, thos kilometres never really felt as hard as they should.
With a bit over 2km left I spotted the ambo who finished one spot ahead of me at the half marathon last week. Nothing for it but to beat him. I sucked it up and put in hard. Then the last few hundred metres meant the best effort of a sprint I could muster. He crossed the line just a couple of steps ahead. The time sheet will probably show only 1 second difference.
The clocked stopped at 54:55 (gun time) for me. A time and a run I am very happy with. From now until Easter I'll continue with the no formal training idea, but will err further on the side of recovery. This will probably will a few complete days off, some drinking, chocolate and going away for a few days. A good recharge of the batteries before I'm back into training from the 14th April.
note: chances are I won't update the blog until I'm back in training