It was lovely to get a cheer from my mum and her friend at the 7 mile water station as I hadn't expected them to be out on the course at all, though I don't think they expected me to be leading a gaggle of men either.
I was hoping that everyone would take a share of pacemaking/windbreaking duties as I was thinking "don't race me guys, work with me and we can reel in this man ahead" but it was left to me to chase him down (which eventually did happen). When we chatted after the race, the guys did say that it wasn't that they didn't want to, but just that they didn't have the extra speed (which I guess is actually a compliment!) - and on the odd occasion when one of them did come up alongside me and start to move across, the pace did drop so I had to take the lead again.
With about a mile to go, I had closed the gap to Alan to just a few metres and as he wasn't making any impression on the guys ahead of him, I suggested that it might be nice to finish the race together as it was our club championshiop race - and we were the first club male and female. It seemed like a nice way to get through the final stretch of the race, though when I passed Alan he did ask me not to go too fast as he was starting to cramp up.