Britsol Half Marathon 2006 race report

Well, despite my obvious shortage of blogs on the subject, I am still running and a couple of weeks ago I ran the Bristol Half Marathon for the third (and probably last) time.

In the past two years, the course has done a quick loop in Bristol City Centre before heading out along the Portway, under the Clifton Suspension Bridge. A couple of miles along Portway, the course would turn back on itself and we'd head back into the city with the final couple of miles around the centre.

This year, however, the organisers decided to change the route, so this time we started around the old docks area and headed into the city centre in a quick loop before a long run out much further along the Portway. The turn on the Portway was on an uphill stretch at about 8.5miles, and then there was the long run back towards the city, with the finish fairly close to the start in the old docks area.

I have to say that I much preferred the old route. We spent more time in the city centre, which gave supporters a better chance of spotting us. It also seemed to me to be easier, and a quick comparison of runners times between last year and this would seem to support the fact that the new course was harder.

As for my race, well I probably hadn't prepared as well as I should. Although I've been doing 20+ miles a week during the summer, not much of it was fast miles, and I think that may have compromised my race performance. My first 3 miles were on my target race pace (around 6m 50 per mile), but after that, things just went horribly and by 10 miles I really wanted to give up and walk (my pace dropped to over 8m miles at that point). I can't tell you how glad I was to get to the finish, but it was nearly the end of me. Given all of that, I still managed a very respectable 1hr 35 for the distance, and 620 place out of 9700+. Most people would be very happy with a time like that, but I know that I could have done much better, which kind of took the pleasure out of it for me. Oh, and somehow I missed the people giving out the race medals, so I don't have one of those to add to my collection this year.

Up to now, I've really enjoyed the Bristol race, but this year it just didn't do it for me, despite the great crowds of enthusiastic supporters all around the course. Given that it's also expensive for me to run - £25 entry, £40 in fuel and £100 in hotel charges, I no longer think it's worth the effort. So, I think that's my last - at least for the time being, and next year I'll give the Nottingham Half Marathon a try as it's only an hour away from home, but has a great course and great support.

One final note is that I noticed that someone from "Sun Microsystems RC" also took part in the Bristol race, and I didn't even know that we had a running club!

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