I shouldn't have worried too much though, the run went extremely well although I experienced a good deal of tiredness in the second half of the race. At the start the weather was very hot, with much of the initial course being run on open highway and through a major arterial tunnel.
In the tunnel.
After about the first 4 kilometres though, the course entered more shaded areas, which made running a lot easier. Lots of people along the way to cheer the runners on, in villages and residential areas, with more than enough opportunities for water and fruit as well.
My placing and (interval) times.
After a while I hardly noticed the supporters any more, I was pretty focussed on just finishing the race which was becoming more and more difficult for me. After having passed the 8 kilometre point things became a little easier, although I was troubled by fatigue after the 10 kilometre point. That was strange though, since my average time was up slightly between 10 and 15 kilometres so probably I was running more on willpower than anything else at that moment.
A bar diagram of the 2.5 km intervals.
After the 14 kilometre point was passed, the scent of success gave me a lot of extra energy and a stimulus to put in an even greater effort in the last stages of the race. At one point I was nearly pushed over by someone when the road narrowed while trying to pass me at a point where it was hardly possible, which broke my concentration and caused a good deal of distraction for a couple of minutes.
About 300 metres from the finish.
The last 500 metres were amazing. I was putting in all the energy I'd reserved earlier in the race, the crowd was amazing in pushing us all along and I almost flew past the other runners who were around me. Unfortunately I hadn't realised that the last stretch before the finish was almost all uphill, hidden behind a bend in the road. Having used up almost all my energy it took all I could give to get to the top of the gradient and into the last 150 metres in which I blazed to the finish.
The crowds at the finish.
This race was the conclusion of months of preparation. Although I hadn't been feeling all that well in the week before race and had had serious reservations about pushing myself all that hard, I found that managing a realistic tempo and keeping a good eye on my pulse rate helped me achieve the best result possible.
The medal, with a representation of the entry to the tunnel.
Once again, a major achievement I can be proud of and once again proof that I've left my addiction well and truly behind me. Things have never looked better, even though there's still an enormous amount of work to be done. Keep well...