My training recently has been rather limited so was not intending to attempt a fast time otherwise I imagined ‘hitting the wall’ towards the end. Went off at a modest pace and realized as I crossed the start line that I had not worn my chip. [whoopsie! Ed] Decided to keep going and hope there would be a clock at the finish as my watch is not digital.
Last time I ran this event back in 1998 it went though the Hemel Hempstead industrial estate that included the Buncefield oil terminal. It obviously changed after the explosion and the organizers chose the old undulating course of the 10 miles event held in January with the first 3 miles loop taking us through a golf course. Given the increased challenge of the course, I was thinking in terms of a 1.40+ time but as time went by on the larger loop I gradually became more competitive despite the climbs. As I checked my watch I estimated a fast personal time was possible which gave me even more encouragement to push on and take the risk. The last mile or so was slowly downhill or flat which helped and my first sighting of the finish clock was 1.34.40 and I crossed the line in about 1.35.09 [Nice! Ed]. Just ahead of me was a familiar competitive runner on the local so on checking the results I worked it out that I was unofficially 124th / 2021 and 37th M40-49. Only 5 runners managed to break 1.20.