Since joing Group 1 I’ve heard a lot about the CPC and its status amongst all runners in Den Haag, I wondered if it could possibly be that special but now I understand it is.  The atmosphere and superb support were all over the course and to have a huge event like this on your doorstep is very cool. Arriving at Malieveld just in time to see some of the fast guys speed along that last painful 200m to the finish line of the 10km, the emotions poured in, like they do at every big race seeing family and friends out in force to support, and runners reaping the rewards of the hard training and beaming with the endorphins that come with it. The nerves kicked in but were soon put to rest joining up with the rest of Group 1 for the general chit chat and warm up.

I navigated the huge crowd to make my way into the start wave, and a short chat with Tjitse before the gun went off.  Bumped into someone from a local club near where I grew up on the first kilometer, nice to hear a County Donegal accent. Not long before Gearoid and Eric sped past, some shouts from Lodewijk and Huub around Km4, a smile for the camera! It was all going well, splits were decent, I was taking advantage of the light tail wind we had and with lots of shouting of my name, felt like I suddenly had hundreds of friends here. I continued again and again to make it to the back of the group infront, recover and go again, Lodewijk’s advice was working…. until it didn’t. At Km16, along the boulevard, with a head wind and a slight uphill, any effort to lift my pace just wasn’t working any more. I was in no-mans land. Glad to see Demi come past, and tried to hold on, but that lasted about 50 metres!  So nothing else for it but to dig in and suffer whilst trying to hold my pace enough to dip under 80 minutes and earn that long overdue HM personal best.

A massive buzz at the finish line, regrouping with a lot of yellow vests and comparing notes. And of course no weekend would be complete without that obligatory Group 1 photo 😁.
Huge kudos to the group running strong times mid-marathon training, I’m going to have serious FOMO Rotterdam marathon weekend!