So after my first serious 2:45 attempt was out by 1 second I had to have another go! And… bingo! 2:44:14 with a +16 second split (not quite as good at Matt’s 0s dead even split!). We had a nice and cool start at 8:30am. Matt, Axel and I settled into a steady pace aiming to hit halfway in 82 minutes. After the first small loop around the city centre we headed along the coast to the east. This section was (very) mildly uphill with Matt and I leading a decent sized group with no-one else looking to help out with the pacing. After turning around and heading back into the city centre we pulled away from the group and set out as a trio. We paced the first half incredibly well to cross in 1:21:59. The course then continued on along the coast out to the west. Suddenly the field thinned dramatically as we kept pace along an incredibly long straight reminiscent of the busway. At this point Axel dropped away (as was his plan), leaving Matt and I to continue on pace, gobbling up the runners ahead that had went out a little too heroically in the first half. The third quarter of the course was somewhat bleak, in contrast to the first half, with very few spectators and an almost surreal tour into an entirely deserted stadium for a lap of a track. For the final 10k we came back into the busy city centre, I was glad to see more spectators as, on queue, things began to get pretty tough. Matt surged a few times with me only able to respond once. Off he went and the elastic stretched out, but thankfully not breaking, as I was tugged along 50m behind. I was elated to see the big Christmas tree as I knew this marked 1000m to go. The finishing straight was incredibly long, around 500m. I was stupidly trying to do the arithmetic about the 2:45 goal time, when I should have told myself just to RLF! I heard my parents shout on from the side and I pushed on to collect my PB and London Championship qualifying time
It wouldn’t have been as enjoyable (interesting choice of word I know) without Matt and Axel to run with on the course and Andrew, Duncan and Murray to celebrate with afterwards, thanks guys!