I told you I’m just like a clock when I tick and I tock
Bupa Great South Run 10 Miler
I thought I had a great plan to run a smart race but it ended up backfiring.
The night before the race we watched last year’s race on a big screen. In that race Leonard Komon opened up with a 4:12 mile with the lead pack somewhere around 4:25 for that opening mile. I knew a sub 4:30 mile was not in my best interest and I also knew that second place last year was 46:40 (4:40 per mile pace). My plan was to run 4:40 per mile until I caught the front pack (which in hindsight wouldn’t have really worked anyways, 4:37 per mile would have worked to catch them by 3 miles). From the gun the race split into two distinct groups and I plopped myself into the second group thinking they would roll the first mile in 4:40. About 1km into the race I realized we were running too slow and I went to the front of the pack and noticed the leaders already had a huge gap. We split 4:49 for the first mile and I was already 20 seconds back! At that point I took off from the second pack and tried to focus on the leaders.
At 5km I was 30 seconds back of the leaders and catching Alistair Cragg who had fallen off the front pack. I went by him and then saw Rui Silva fall off and started working towards him. I passed Rui just after the 10km mark, which I hit 40 seconds back of the leaders (I wasn’t running much slower than the lead pack). What made it even harder for me was that the lead pack of 6 stayed intact this whole time and I was running solo, on a blustery day. I never caught anyone else. The seventh place finisher, Johnny Mellor, had a 15-18 second gap on me the whole way. My final time was 47:50 (2:58/km or 4:47/mi) for 8th place. I ended up 40 seconds back of where I wanted to be by the end of the race, so I kept the pace honest but was just out of it the whole way.
It’s a long way to travel to run a solo time trial and in hindsight I wish I had been more aggressive from the gun. I still think my plan to not break 4:30 off the front was good, but 4:49 was way too slow to give myself a shot of catching the leaders. At least I can feel good about my fitness and I have more races this fall. The event, as a whole, was fantastic. The guys at Great Run took good care of us and made sure everything ran smoothly.
My splits 5km 14:51, 10km 29:33, 15km 44:24
Leaders 5km 14:21, 10km 28:53, 15km 43:28
Thanks to Pierre Landry for the generous offer of his Air Canada eUpgrade points! I was able to fly executive class on the way over and get in a solid sleep on the overnight flight. I got him a signed bib from two 2012 Olympic medallists, Tariku Bekele and Abel Kirui.
Portsmouth is a cool place, here are some pics I took while I walked around.
Along the course