The last evening run of the series - two more to come in the autumn - Sunday mornings. I'm never as sharp in the mornings, so regarded this as my last chance this year to get a half-decent time.
Not the strongest field ever seen - entry about 80 or so I would guess. Warm, sticky & just a suggestion of a following wind along the N Wirral coastal embankment.
Away we went and no-one was really galloping away. I was among the first 10 right from the off and went thru into Leasowe Lighthouse car park (just past 500m) in 1.44 & not feeling too bad.
Out onto the embankment and by 1K things were settling down. 3 runners are away from the rest, but 4th place was within a burst if I had the bottle or inclination; from the sound of hooves behind me, lots of runners capable of doing the same to me also. Settled for sitting in on the guy in 6th and hoped he would tow me past the two others within reach.
1 mile in 5:42 and I've reached this stage feeling worse in my time, but the "middle" mile (of the 3.1) round Leasowe Bay is the difficult one (uneven surface and slight incline much of the way). Got overtaken by one runner but managed to keep the legspeed going and remain in contact with the two in front....better than I usually manage at this stage.
Thru 2 miles in 11:37 having had a little breather on the downslope out of the bay and I sensed lots of company immediately behind. Started to work and closed the gap on 7th again and managed to hang on. By 2.5 miles he'd towed me up to the 6th placed runner; the sound of hooves behind me had faded, and (not daring to look round) there were no long shadows being cast by the sun behind me that I could see.
I lost my tow as a result of pausing for a breather (if you know what I mean) before passing the (ex) 6th place whome we'd both overhauled; a 10m gap had opened up and I was never to close it. Had a last go from about 200m from the finish but settled for 7th in 17:36 - 3 seconds adrift. Q pleased with the time though - a season's best in conditions that weren't as helpful as those earlier in the year. Now for some 10Ks!
Enjoyed the jog back to the car with the bloke who beat me - Kevin (didn't get his surname) from Wirral AC.
Haven't got full race details yet - winning time was about 15:50; first lady home must have done something around 18:00 or thereabouts.
Footnote: at last the web site has been fully updated - details of all previous runs are available on www.seasideruns.com . Next race Sun 29th September.