Every year on New Year's Eve when I was growing up there was a family party chez nous. Dinner with all the cousins, aunts, uncles and grand parents. Followed by drinks until the early hours of the morning with them all. Obviously as kids we used run around high on soft drinks, playing computer games, hide and seek, awake until all hours on a total sugar rush. The novelty of New Years Day was that as kids it would be the one day of the year you'd stay in bed until about 1 o'clock in the afternoon and still end up being the first in the house awake. Into my adult years this trend of waking up late on New Years Day, although accompanied by a hangover, continued. This morning, as my alarm went off at 8.30, after finding my way to bed after 2am, was no fucking novelty!
Fast forward a few hours to the end of the race. As I crossed the line and glanced at the clock to see a ten second PB my initial reaction was one of content. Yes, I'd have preferred to be closer to 16 minutes but with the weeks of late this would have to do. On the way back to the club house I heard one of the guys from the club who finished just a head of me say he ran 16.18.
Was that time by your watch, or the clock? I was only about 4 or 5 seconds behind you, certainly not 14 or 15
Turns out his time was off the clock as he crossed and I must have read it wrong. Wahey! A 20 second PB - 16 minutes and 22 seconds. Granted I have to wait to see the results to get clarification but that seems to be what I got. I'd still have preferred to have ran closer to 16 minutes but I'm not going to argue with that time.
The race itself was quite smooth. No hills, very little wind, pretty much ideal conditions... well except for the day of the year! As the gun went off there was no jostling for position, no weaving, everyone seemed to be where they should be. From about 800m in I'd found a nice position and no one passed me for the remaining 4.2km but I also didn't pass anyone. I sat on the shoulder of one of the Raheny athletes for a while and then sat in behind him to let him deal with what little wind we had on one straight. Every now and again I'd nudge onto his shoulder to hopefully force him into picking the pace up. He bit each time. Genius. However, by 3k he had about 15 metres on me and I spent the rest of the race trying to cut that distance out. At the end of the race he finished about 10 metres a head. Not so genius now! I like to think I pushed him onto a better time... I'm a nice guy like that.
It also looks like the club team will finish 1st or 2nd (more than likely second), and I'll get my first ever running medal that's not a "everyone gets a medal" medal. I was third from the club home and it's either 3 or 4 to a team - I'm not totally sure at the moment. Joining a club looks like a great idea now. All I have to do now is get the rest of the club to know my name so that in future races they can cheer me on by name rather than by the club name!
*UPDATE* The results are up and the time is as I originally saw it - 16.32. Still a 10 second PB. The guy in my club finished 3 seconds slower than he told me he saw, although I still don't believe he was 11 seconds ahead of me - 5 tops. But thems the results.