Once again I was making the relatively short journey south of the river. Having not run in Grimsby/Cleethorpes for the best part of my first 6 years of running, I have now run there 3 times in 6 months with the Grimsby 10k again this year to come.
The drive over was relatively pain-free with only a little traffic at the roundabouts into Grimsby at the end of the A180. This wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't need to pee! I had got out of work a little early giving me time to grab a (very strong) coffee from Costa before collecting my number.
Handily the start is about a mile away near Cleethorpes Leisure Center which always makes the warm-up decision easy. However, I started by running away from the start to see where the far turn was. At this point nothing was setup but it did give me a feel for the course and work out the wind would be against us on the way back to the start. For those that don't know the course starts at the Leisure centre, following the promenade all the way to the end before doing an 180 around a roundabout then all the way back to the start for another 180 and then just over half a mile to the finish.
After the warm-up, I made my way to the start getting myself close to the front. Before the race, I'd have been more than happy with sub 18 believing that is the sort of shape I'm in. At the very least another sub 18:30, anything above that would have been very disappointing.
As ever it was a rapid first mile to find some space plus all my best races I have a fast first mile and then slow down to "race pace". First mile completed in 5:33 and feeling fairly comfortable, if I could keep this up I could absolutely smash my 5k PB. Around the mile and a quarter point, we make the turn to head back, I was just gaining on two other runners with the first lady catching me.
After the turn, we all came together and with the wind against started to work together well with various people taking turns on the front. Second mile in 5 minutes 50 seconds. Slowing as expected but hopefully, I could drag something extra out in the last mile and a bit. Failing that I would get the sub 18 had hoped for.
2.5 miles and the group of 4 is now 3, myself, another guy and current first lady. We now had the benefit of the wind and I had hoped I'd have a strong finish. Unfortunately, my legs went and the aforementioned started to push on. It was disappointed to be gapped but I still crossed the line in 17:52 for 11th place. A massive 5k PB on tired legs and big step forward.