Starting to feel a little more recovered from London M now, I was hoping of a speedy time. It was a great morning, cool and sunny. I took a longer warm up, which seems to be working for me at the moment, and lined up near the front with plenty of other OCAC runners, including Ali, who’d cheekily bet me he could beat me today. The guy next to me ask me what I was aiming for, as his watch had just stopped working, and when I said 39 minutes, he said he’d follow me through the first couple of km as a pacer.
I tried to remain in control of my pace through the first downhill 1½km, and to the turn for the uphill drag on the High, where the guy I was pacing nipped in front of me. I still felt strong up the drag, passing Ali who was already fading, and knew that a sub-40 was definitely on the cards as I cruised through the Norham Gardens twisties all the way to 5km, passed in around 19:25.
Coming back into the park is always tricky – the paths are only fine gravel and there are more twists and turns but I had enough left in the tank to overtake a few runners dying ahead of me and a sprint finish for a 20:02 second half. Very happy with that, my fastest Town & Gown for a few years and I still feel there’s more to come this summer.