Today was the annual Bre (my company) Garston Grand Prix race which is a 2.5 mile on and off road blast. We have a couple of races in the bre calendar, which is great for a company to do. This was the first year that I took on the race organisation too so added pressure as well as actually running it.
I didn't stand a chance of winning it as a new kid on the block Glen Watts recently joined the company and is super quick. And I don't just mean a little bit quicker either ~ Glen's half marathon PB is 66 minutes!! I really didn't stand a chance, that was until he pulled out of the race this morning. I should have been thrilled but I wasn't as I really wanted go see what he could do and the course record of 12:53 set by BRE running legend Bob Mallows which has stood for 25 years was under threat!
I certainly wasn't going to be challenged the record but I would settle for going sub 15. The field of 16 runners lined up with Bob present to start proceedings. My strategy was simple ~ go out really hard and open up a lead early then hold on. And this is pretty much what happened. My opening mile was a 5:41 on road, but I wasn't able to sustain this pace and my second mile which went off road was a 6:23. It didn't feel this much slower and I was giving it everything I had however by this stage I was totally alone with no one to push me even harder.
I still thought though that I was doing enough to go sub 15 minutes (my pb was 15:36). I only had an avg pace read out on the garmin though so had no idea what the time was and how close I was. The last half mile is through the woods. There was a bit of slipping and sliding but the innov8s kept me moving forward.
As I exited the woods for the last 200 yd dash on tarmac to the finish I gave it what I had, but again had someone been baring down on me I would have surely found a few more seconds! And as it was I needed them... I crossed he finish line in 15:00.88. Overall I was pleased with my run although my second mile let me down. 2nd place finished 1:20 behind me so quite a margin.
Had Glen raced I certainly wouldn't have won but perhaps I would have gone quicker!!! So there is the question: what's more important ~ time or positioning or both!! Obviously you would take both given the chance. Bottom line winning any race is a good feeling, and it might be my last for a while if Glen does get racing! So I will enjoy it whilst it lasts! And the best thing of all I can still go quicker.
The only downer on today is a slight hamstring strain which has had the Deep Heat treatment. Basically there was zero warm up before the race and I've paid for the opening mile! Not sure how it will be for the Leighton Dirt Half Marathon this Saturday. I will race but it may not be full on.