Quick chat with Charlie D and Mike Baird before the start (as you do) and then I had to stand with the great unwashed (no seeded start for me) while the likes of Macca, Dicky and Jamie swanned around in front of us looking like pros. It was all a bit relaxed on the start line chatting to Jenny Wickham and Justin before suddenly we were off with me a bit unprepared. Everyone sprints up the hill, I take it conservatively and find myself about 10s behind a group containing Barts, Quentin and Lewis at the top. Hell, there's even a chick in front of me. But I'm breathing hard - surely they've all gone off too hard?
Pass the chick then Jamie going down the hill, then Nick Roberts going along Abbott Road but I'm making no headway to the Barts group. On to the Parkrun course and I can see Barts pulling ahead of the group and catching Criniti. But the rest of the group is still pulling ahead of me. Get a shout from Clarkey on his bike at 5km and decide that no-one is going to come back to me unless I work hard, so start pushing the hill up to the Diggers. Turn into Charles St and I'm getting back, by the Harbord Hilton I've caught Quentin, Lewis and Jason Hall so put a real effort in up the nasty pinch and on Undercliff St.
Sweep down past Queensie Surf Club and get a welcome shout from Dad and then begins the longest run-in in the developed world. Holey crap, I run along Manly Beach about 3 times a week but that've they elongated it? But I'm holding form OK and feel fine to sprint if anyone comes up to my shoulder to maintain 7th. Cruise to the line but, what's this?! Some bloke (Jason Hall) floats past with 10m to go!
Very happy with the time on a tough course but, far out, what a performance by Barts. Bit of a game changer that one - 3rd overall in 32:39, smashing Criniti (who I almost caught in the end) but soundly ahead of Alex Rogers. Macca also had a great run in 35:34 showing that strength counts for a lot on this course. Lewis ran a PB. Jamie just missed dipping under 36. Divky was mid 36 and Justin's hammy held up in high 36. Ben did what he intended by dipping under 40 and was that Charlie running as Timmy in 40:xx?
Beaut of a day in Manly showing it off at its best to 10,000 runners. Lovely B&E roll and coffee at Bench with Macca and Barts (could be the new venue) to round out a great morning.