This was a great weekend for Phil in Monte Gordo, Portugal, his 1st time pulling on a GB vest for the Cross Country Relay, but he knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park.
Phil – I got called up for the Cross-Country Relay team on the Saturday and with the temperatures soaring to 28 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, it was always going to be tough. I ran the 2nd leg and we were down on the leaders when the baton was handed over to me and, although I made up a lot of ground, we were sadly unable to trouble the podium. On the positive, I felt I had a good run and this means I went into the Half Marathon on Sunday confident of doing well; this was highlighted by the fact that when the results were released, my average pace over the course was quicker than that of the Spanish team who took Gold!
Sunday was the event I had come for and there was strong competition with former Olympians and professionals littered throughout the field. It was another hot day, but thankfully there was some cloud cover which made the heat a little more bearable than the previous day. I had a bit of bad start with not being able to get anywhere near the actual start line, so it took me until half a mile in or so to get into a rhythm and start weaving through the field. The positive from this is that there were plenty of people to catch and overtake, which I did throughout the whole race.
I was really happy to cross the line as 3rd Brit home and 30th overall in 1:15:18, just over a minute behind my PB, which I was happy with under the conditions. We had an anxious wait at the end to see how we had placed in the team event, but unfortunately just missed out on the podium finishing 4th behind strong Spanish, Portuguese and Belgian teams. However, it was a fantastic experience and one I can’t wait to do again when the Championship comes to the UK in 2018.
30th Place Overall
4th Team Event
Official HM time – 1:15:18
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