The imprint on my singlet is clearly etched onto my torso as I type and will be for the next month or so - except that the Eagle black on my white form has changed to white on a red. It looks like it will be the most enduring reminder of my third 39.3 miler in Connemara. I had learnt from my previous runs to save something for the third half and true to form today I more or less ignored the lesson as somewhere in my deep subconscious I feel that if I have run two halves I must be done - and generally I am. Still I had a very good day and did not suffer too much from my foolhardiness.
My initial plan to go out at 7:30 pace worked well for a few miles but my run by feel strategy had me running a bit faster after warming up - getting me through the first half in 1:36, the second half in a similar time - I think I crossed the marathon line in 3:12:30 and paid the price over the Hilly third half, but at least I did not have to walk (although at times I could have been passed by a few walkers) I crossed under the finish line in about 5:02:33 - a 22 minute PB - so I am delighted and while I was tantalising close to a sub-5 hour - running 2 miles up hill from mile 35 to 37 took away any cushion that I had (which was about zero).
I must go out for a few beers now with Liam (My Cousin, who ran his second ultra today in a very respectable 5:44 - especially considering his first ultra was last weekend along 51k of the mountainous Wicklow Way) and Thomas (who had an even better day than I - but you'll have to wait for that story).