This was my first-ever race, in 2003.  Then it was a circular run from Les Laveurs out along the Five Mile Road, cutting in and back along Chemin du Moulin.  These days, in deference to the sponsors, it is the practical but tedious out and back along the Avenue, turning at St Aubin.  At least runners are able to use the Fitness First facilities, and the adjacent Radisson seems quite amenable to the unusual, non-spending clientele first thing on a Sunday morning.  Starting at the Freedom Tree (marking the 60th anniversary of the Liberation) it’s a trot down to the Avenue before settling in for the journey west along the pancake-flat course. After a pretty gruelling LSR last Saturday my Monday and Tuesday sessions were not good.  My legs were dead with the result that I skipped my Thursday easy run in the hope that I’d be in better shape for this race.  I was but I nevertheless found the outrun tough enough on a perfect running morning.  My usual targets were running well so I decided to run steady until the turn and see what I could find on the way back. These out and backs make you despondent as the leaders whizz back towards the finish, emphasising what a hopelessly crap runner you are.  Then, once you make your own turn you suddenly feel superior again, encouraging the even slower people along.  And as usual there was a really good turnout of social runners.  James Cunningham had carved out a big lead over Dave Ibbotson by La Haule on the return trip and was to go on to finish in 33.xx.  My own half way split was 25.21 so I had a little bit to do to duck under 50mins – I’ve not failed to break that mark since returning to Jersey. It’s always good if you can run a negative split though and I managed to dig in and pass three or four rivals, though I was passed in turn by two others.  I judged First Tower, at 5.3 miles, to be the point at which to push and managed to pick it up a bit to stop the clock at 49.31, a second half of 24.10.  Not my greatest race ever and I ought to be running faster at this stage of my marathon programme, but it may signal the start of a revival in form.  I still need a serious injection of miles though – I feel very undercooked. RESULTS ARE ON THE SPARTAN WEBSITE – FOLLOW THE LINK ON THE RIGHT Monday – 40min @ EL1 Tuesday – pyramid 1min/2/3/4/5/6/5/4/3/2/1 recovery half previous run @ EL 3-4 Sunday – 10k race 49.31.  Mile splits 8.09, 8.15, 8.15, 8.09, 8.00, 7.44 Weeks to Edinburgh Marathon – 7

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