Running along the prom in the group that was to stay roughly together for the majority of the distance.
Thanks to Gordon D for the photo.
Shortly after Joppa (I think) Stuart and David started to form a breakaway team.
Ross M, Andrew M and David F were up ahead in the podium places, the remainder of this group just behind Stuart and David who we kept in visual contact.
Still going ok at the Pans.
Our group was doing pretty well at rotating leaders giving everyone a chance to draft in the fierce wind then take a shot up front. (Thanks to Sandy W for the photo. He reckoned it was the worst conditions in living memory for the race, although I'm not sure if that was because he wasn't able to run!) My apparently cheerful expression is because I saw Sandy, not because I was enjoying the run.
This looks to be Gosford or thereabouts and our group was down to 4. I felt the danger was likely to come from Ian R (as far as the v50s went) even though Stuart was well ahead. No disrespect to Mr. H - just I was relying on him fading like he did last year, and Ian is very strong towards the end of long arduous runs (as I bitterly recall at Glenogle 33!) However all my game plans and predictions turned out to be comprehensively wrong.
This is just after the drinks station at 13miles. I had made up a diluted Red Bull for the drinks station. It was the only drink I had during the race. Like last year I dropped the pace to consume it (and a thick gel just before it) but was sure the added oomph it would give me would allow me to catch up with the group again quickly and then move on to overtake Stuart who was the same distance (around 30~45secs) ahead of "my" group. I failed on both counts although I was still feeling optimistic I could ramp it up before the end. The wind ended all that. I really don't run well into a headwind. Roly said "it's the same for everyone" and it should be, but I feel it is worse for some (me) than others. I have evidence for this but won't go on about it, as it sounds like an excuse. Also Michael G reminds me every time he hears this that my best half and pb marathon were both done on windy days. Doesn't mean I couldn't have gone faster, which is one reason I am lining up for Edinburgh at the end of the month.
This guy, who was in the group earlier, and I ran together until Gullane where he stopped for an unspecified complaint. He made good ground in the last couple of miles and was just seconds behind me at the tape.
When a friend saw this ^ photo and the brightly coloured Hokas (Huakas) they posted that I resembled Janosch's "Hase mitt den schnellen schuen". I wasn't feeling particularly schnellen but I now know where Hoka got their colour scheme from. I bought some black and blue spray paint to pimp my rides as I originally disliked the immodest colours however they are growing on me and I might leave it in case I ruin the shoes by painting them. (I didn't choose the model, I got them free from Hoka to trial and review, which will be written up shortly.)(Spoiler alert: light and well cushioned!)
Hase mitt den Schnellen Schuen
photo Sandy W
By this point just before Dirleton I was on my own with nobody to hide behind. Big thanks to David Woods' dad who took this photo and loads more (several above.) Happily nobody was taking them in the last 2miles as I slowed and gave up the ghost. The wind increased in force along that section after Dirleton. The council seem to have re-surfaced the worst of the rooty undulating pavement but I was in no fit state to appreciate it. Those ahead, including Stuart H first v50, began to disappear off the radar as I dropped to a jog. Happily nobody went past and I stayed in line for second v50. Ian R had pulled off the road at the top of the hill of Gullane Golf Course and I shouted bad luck to him. It looked like cramp or leg trouble. He did get to NB ahead of Stuart, but it was in a car. Stuart ran a great race and didn't repeat last year's crash and burn tactic. We meet again at Black Rock and the Marathon where I'm hoping the wind won't figure so much.
jogging to the line (photo Gordon D)
2nd v50 and 8th overall
It should be noted that all 3 top v50s beat all 3 top v40s.
Remarkably smiley all things considered, enjoying the countryside detour of the bus on the way back to Porty. Mary had enjoyed the race even less than myself. However it should only be considered a warm up for Edinburgh Marathon, and the weather surely can't be so bad for that, can it?