Last year, I ran my first GSR and in fact, my first 10 mile race. I was so impressed with the big event buzz, that I signed up for the 2018 event, 1 day after the 2017 run.
Read about Stuarts 2017 race here
For me, race day conditions were perfect. In 2017, the tail end of storm Brian had made things a little windy, but today I was seriously short of excuses.
Obviously, I’d warmed up appropriately and worked through my extensive stretch routine before moving a modest couple of lines from the very front of my orange wave, I was now keen to crack on. I had some unfinished business with those damn Duracell Pacer Bunnies. (AKA A runner in an orange Duracell T-shirt, bunny ears and a flag. Sometimes, also known as, someone running at a pace that bears no resemblance to the flag time)
At the start, my pacing was impeccable. So much so, that I was in front of every pacing bunny. By mile 1, I amused myself immensely by slapping Jim Laidlaw on the back and pointing out, he wasn’t running fast enough. It was going perfectly.
After that, I did that maths. 10 miles minus 1 mile equals 9 miles. Eek. I would be in trouble, pretty soon. It was time to back off a little.
Mile 1-7 pretty much involved me and the bunny over taking each other with a brief appearance of shark-man. After mile 7, the shark had cooked himself in his costume and I had pretty much accepted that the bunny was winning again. For me, my normal run distance is 10 km, so I was feeling a bit like the bunny using the other brand of battery. My pace was dropping.
At around the 8 mile mark, the long return leg down the Southsea front was on my mind. Fellow Sandhurst runner and general Monday night legend, Patrick Wadsworth gave me a good demonstration of his superior endurance by overtaking me.
For me, this was decision time. Last years finish time was 1:17:42. The 1:15 pacer was about a minute in front of me. Was this it? I gently increased the pace to close in on the bunny. By the final corner which I think is around 400 meters before the finish, I had closed to around 20 meters. It was time to use those handfuls of Jelly Baby goodness. I finished in 1:13:23.
GSR and the 1:15 bunny pacer, thank you. See you in 2019.