Can’t wait for tomorrow,
I might not have that long
A bit of welcome warmer weather for Wednesday’s 10.25k club packrun, followed up with an easy 13.1k to the Rain Stone on Thursday.
After Run Directing at Watergrove, another easy 6.2km run on Saturday led nicely into Sunday’s Huddersfield Half Marathon. Billed as the hilliest Half in the UK, not sure about that but a definite tough course with around 4 significant climbs.
Simultaneously there was a marathon which consisted of 2 laps of the same loop. Didn’t feel 100% in the warmup and had a hint of a sore throat all week.
Set off a bit quick at sub 4 min/km pace and went through the mainly flat/downhill 1st km in just over 4 minutes. Annoyingly watch then reset itself, so had to restart. Wasn’t 100% sure of exactly how much I’d missed by the time it got going but got a time check from another runner at a mile, deducted where I was at to get about 4:30 missing to add on.
After a big downhill it was onto the first climb which went well followed by a big steep down into Stainland Dean – which I ran a bit too fast so early, quads were sure to pay later – and then a tough long climb up the cobbles.
Felt like I was generally pacing well with good cadence and on for a good time despite the hills. I expected the 3rd climb up to the highest part of the course after Scammonden to be the hardest but actually turned out to be the easiest of the four.
Got a good pace going on the long downhill and managed to reign in a big gap to the next runner who I’d briefly passed earlier but again on the final climb he got away and legs were now tiring. A brief bit of down allowed a bit of pace over the line for 9th overall. I got 1:32:15 GPS + an estimated 4:30 for around 1:36:45, the initial results matched this with 1:36:44… but were then amended and about 35 seconds was added to everyone’s time – which was very disappointing for chip timing. Presumably a clock issue.
Finished 2nd v40 but was aged a couple of weeks in the results to be attributed 1st v45 based on year rather than date of birth, but no sign of any results or prize giving on the day, seemed it was hours later when the marathon had finished.
The weather continued warming for a few moorland runs, 14.3k on Tuesday, a quick 11.3k packrun on Wednesday and an easy 12.6k on Thursday despite sore throat persisting. Finally felt like I was getting in the miles I should have been all winter.
Decided to rest up ahead of Sunday’s Blackpool Half to try to ease throat, and after a stressful Saturday night with car written off, I nearly jacked in race as had no transport options but just before midnight managed to grab a chauffeur for an early start on a short sleep. Ion the positive side, I needed a bit of practice racing after not much sleep!
Arrived in time for about 4k of warm ups, in a strong icy northerly wind, not good considering the course went south – north – south and a final 800m north, at least it was sunny. Similar scenario to the previous week, with a parallel 2 lap marathon, plus a 10k setting off just after.
I was undecided on how I would do due to throat and everything but decided that 91 to 94 mins was possible and I’d set off steady and see how it went, with a view to putting in the effort if it looked like a sub 90 was on.
Paced reasonably well for first 4k, trying to keep it between 4:15 and 4:30. This felt very comfortable but I was conscious that we would soon turn back into the wind so made the decision to up effort a little early. Passed Michael and immediately put in a fast km.
After turning into wind it was tough going and worked hard to try and find shelter but struggled, so kept picking up the odd place. Wasn’t really thinking of time, just kept going, with the odd glance at watch to check pace not too high or low.
No-one had made an overtake stick since the first km, so was surprised at Bispham when a runner came by that I’d exchanged places mid race. Had a brief conversation and wondered if I could keep up with him but then the downhill before the turn allowed me to pull back ahead.
Realised I was actually faster than I thought and with 5 or 6k to go it was clear I would comfortably go under 1:30 even if I slowed a little.
As soon as we turned back southwards, it felt so much warmer and with the wind behind I put my foot down and went to sub 4 min pace, blasted through to the end with an easing off for the slope up before the turn back into the wind for the run in.
17th overall from over 900 and 2nd v40 but again no prize (as advertised for first 3 in age cats). Otherwise well organised but yet another cock up with the chip timing again, eventually sorted-ish (appears to be clock time rather than chip time!) after a bit of social media pressure from runners, for a new official PB of 87:37 – 8.5 minutes knocked off… which is going to make July’s PB attempt a lot harder and will need to set a tougher target time. GPS
Happy with strength and speed at the end, felt like I could easily have gone faster, a good confidence booster ahead of Transvulcania Mediamarathon.