Tuesday nights training had gone well, I was feeling on top form by Thursday so thought ‘I can run the half marathon on Saturday, it’s for a good cause’. So I completed my online entry and waited for Sunday morning. I wonder now whether I should have put a little more thought and better still a little more distance training before attempting a half, a good 4 miles further than a run I feel comfortable to do.
One thing to remember for all those taking part is there are about 700 runners taking part in the St Michaels hospice 5k. 10k and half marathon and the queues for both on the day registration and the toilets can be long. I travelled with Jo and Tom (Carol) Powell and we had enough time before the start but it still felt a little stressful while waiting in the long queue that we may not have been ready at the start. A few Croft runners were spotted at the start, I would like to congratulate Dave George on getting the start time right and actually being able to take part this year. There were 10 Croft Runners, but with 500 competitors we did not all start off together.
The race started in the rain and for the first couple of miles I aimed for a steady pace and was enjoying myself. I was prepared for the sun to come out and the longer the race went on the hotter the sun got. I made sure I took the pre-race advice to stay hydrated and did take a drink from the fantastically enthusiastic volunteers at the water stations and all along the way there were some great supporters cheering us on. However the heat and the distance began to take there toll and I could feel myself flagging at about mile 7-8, wondering how I was going to keep going to the end. So a big thank you to Tom, who together with Nicky Goodwin from Hereford Tri-Club kept me motivated, supplying some much needed gels, made sure I kept the pace and got me through to the end. I managed to keep up with them until the last water station but did get slightly delayed and never managed to catch them again in the last two miles.
I have run this race before but it is the only road half that I have done. I don’t know if it is the same for all half marathons but the last 3 miles of this one seem to be relentless. I was so relieved to get through the gates onto the racecourse where I could see the end, but had absolutely no energy to pick up the pace in the final throws of the race and a few runners got past me. I was just pleased to cross the finish line and not pass out, although I did feel a bit wobbly.
It was great to finish and meet up with the other Croft runners, all looking much more refreshed than I felt! Gemma did particularly well – first lady back in 1.29.18. Fantastic running. Sam was the first Croft man home in 1.23.29 – 6th place.
Dave George, 1.34.08, Ben Rees 1.40.41, Ian Price 1.42.32, Paul Colley-Davies 1.42.39, Jo Marriot 1.49.32, Kelly Bowen 1.51.33, Frank Luscott 1.51.45, Carol Powell 1.56.57 and Sam Harper 1.57.31
Ashley Robinson ran the 10k in 45.32.
Well done everyone on a great run, the third in this years Club Championship.