Times past, this flagship event attracted many runners. For whatever reason(s), controllable or not, there were just 47 finishers last Sunday. Furthermore, there were few, if any, participants who were not regular and/or competent runners.

Still, it was a sunny if somewhat chilly morning as the race started, back to the Radisson before turning and heading west along the well-worn promenade along Victoria Avenue. Generations of runners have used this as their training ground, primarily for its traffic-free environment and its welcome lighting on winter nights. Perhaps some of those old runners were, invisible to us, sitting on the sea wall and casting a critical eye.

Personally, my aim was a consecutive sub-50 minute run – the math being easy as I kept my eye on my trusty Garmin timepiece. The leaders were soon in the distance and the chatty mid-pack bunch easing slowly ahead, chatty but still faster than me. I felt comfortable enough, hitting my 5min kms as we headed west. Richard Watson eased by me early on but I edged by him again as we turned at St Aubin for the run for home.

Money on no.5, just before the turn

Then a reality check as a moderate south-easterly breeze sprung up, right into our faces. The even-paced cruise turned into a bit of a battle, arms working harder, no-one immediately in front to latch on to, recruiting one or two tricks to maintain rhythm. The last long run-in from First Tower and an anxious check of the watch. 49.43, which I consider a good morning’s work.