After an early start to pick up the numbers for Sarah and Tanya, plus a long wait in the portaloo queue, I managed to squeeze my way to the front of the start line to in a good position for a fast get away. Randomly, I was stood next to Mark Abdy, one of Ben’s childhood friends who is now a keen runner so we had a quick chat and then realised his dad Malc (my Dad’s barber) was stood on the other side of the barrier and he said they were planning on running the great North Run together in September.The start was fast approaching but I could feel my bladder swelling up which wasn’t good. Luckily, I had an empty water bottle so during the national anthem, I discreetly relieved myself in the bottle, much to Abdy’s amusement.
It proved to be good timing as soon after, Premiership referee Howard Webb sounded the starting horn and we were off on a 10k loop of York’s historic town centre before doubling back to the finish on the Knavesmire in the shadow of the County Stand at York race course.I made a decent start, making a conscious decision not to chase a group of around 5 runners who set the early pace and concentrate on my own rythmn – aiming for 3.36 minute kilometres which I managed to stick to, going through the 5k marker at bang on 18 minutes and on track for a new PB.
The aim then was to maintain the same pace through the middle of the race and deal with the discomfort (the Chrissie Wellington phrase for pain) of running on the limit for a sustained period.I managed to keep going and at 8k, I was on track for a sub 36 but I started to tie up around the 9k mark (not helped by two random out and back turns that broke the stride pattern), losing a couple of places in the race.
After the final turn outside the county stand, there was one last corner before the home straight and the final push to the line. I tried to kick but had nothing left so lost another couple of places in the sprint but still crossed the line in a new PB of 36.33 – 14th place overall.Absolutely spent but satisfied, I walked back up to the side of the finishing straight to cheer Sarah home in under 50 minutes, a new PB and personal milestone so it was smiles all round and back home for coffee and cake and more Olympic magic on telly.