Merson runs out of steam in Great Bristol 10k

TOM Merson had victory in his sights in the inaugural Great Bristol 10k road race on Sunday when he hit the ‘wall’ on a red-hot day.
The Bristol & West AC runner was running alongside eventual winner Toby Spencer of Coventry and Welshman Rob Samuel as the trio had broken well clear of the huge field and were steeling themselves for the finish.
“The three of us were together and as we reached 8k I was feeling absolutely fine,” said Merson.
“Then within a few strides I was in bits and it was all over as the other two went clear. I just had nothing left in my legs.
“It was a shame because Rob has never beaten me and while Toby Spencer is running well I think I would have had a chance of beating him as well.”
It wasn’t the heat that proved to be Merson’s undoing but rather his recent work schedule at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital where he works as a department practitioner.
“I worked a 19-hour shift over Friday night not finishing until Saturday morning and that took its toll,” added Merson.
“Working night shifts is very hard and to be honest it has got on top of me. So bearing that in mind I cannot grumble too much about Sunday.
“I got onto the podium and ran a solid time and also enjoyed the last 200 metres as there were a lot of people cheering me on. I enjoyed that!”
Merson’s time of 31mins 18secs was actually his slowest of the year behind his 30:10 to win the First Chance race in Exeter at the start of the year – and which has put hi top of the 2016 South West Rankings - and then his 31:12 for victory in the Age UK Exeter event in March.
His sub 30 minutes time of 29:59, the second fastest of his career, in the Trafford 10k has since been found to be on a short course.
Great Bristol 10k road race - Men: 1 Toby Spencer (Coventry Godiva) 30:47; 2 Rob Samuel (Eryri Harriers) 30:54; 3 Tom Merson (B&W) 31:18.

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