Ben Fish admitted the wheels came off in the last two miles of his quest for a second Hastings Half Marathon triumph.
The Blackburn Harrier, champion in 2010, eventually had to settle for third after being at the head of affairs for the first 10 miles on a glorious Sunday morning.
He said: “It went to plan. I felt comfortable probably up to about eight miles and I felt I had a chance of winning. I seemed to be fine on the hills.
“On the flat bits coming up to about 10 miles coming up to about 10 miles they (winner Benard Chemugo and runner-up Tadele Geremew) put some bursts in which I responded to. But between 10 and 11 miles they started to go away.”
Fish hit the front in the first few hundred yards and was around 15 seconds clear of Chemugo and Geremew at the three-mile mark at the bottom of Queensway.
The African duo had caught him by the four-mile mark partway along Queensway and the first three runners were locked together until Fish was dropped shortly after entering Old London Road in the 11th mile.
He went on: “I was fairly pleased with my time. I was hoping I would be low 67 (minutes) or under 67, but the wheels came off in the last two miles.
“It’s a tough course, but I still think it’s a course you can run fast times on if you cope well with the hills. I just didn’t quite have enough in the legs for the last two miles really.”
See tomorrow’s Hastings Observer for the full article.