Clowne Half Marathon Race Reports
By tdw on Nov 28, 2005
So, Sunday arrived and it was time for my last half marathon of the year. I had intended it to be a "fun" (no pressure) race just to get experience, but by the start my willpower lapsed and I ended up running it as a real race.
There was a limit fo some 600 or so competitors, and the starting area was pretty wide, so there were no real issues with bunching that you get in some races. I got off to what I thought was an easy start, and the first mile came up in 6:53 which happened to be bang on target pace. The next two miles, although generally uphill, came in similarly and I was feeling pretty good - not breathing too heavily or running too hard. Miles 4 and 5 were largely downhill and I managed to bank around 45s on my target pace. This was a good thing because mile 5-6 was a horrendously long uphill slog - worse even than the mile 4-5 at Bolsover a couple of weeks ago. I managed to use up all of my banked time in that one mile
After that, things only got worse for me. My legs were refusing to deliver the goods and my early pace gradually dropped away to just under 8min/mile. It wasn't helped by the fact that most of the last four miles of the race is on a slight uphill and into a chilly headwind. However, I think that my problems were not caused by that alone.
After really struggling in miles 11 and 12, I managed to pick up the pace a little in the 13th mile to 7:24, but it was too late for any thoughts of personal bests, and in the end I was happy just to cross the line!
My finishing time was 1:34 and change. Still respectable, but I know that I should have done better than that, and earlier in the year I would have made it in under 1:30.
Looking back, perhaps only having a banana and bottle of sports drink before the race contributed to my suffering later in the race. I should probably have had some toast and/or cereal for breakfast for the carbs. I've also had a cold trying to start for the past week or so, which came out in full force after I got home, so that would also help to explain why I suffered so much.
Got a great woolly hat as a memento of the race though, and I have to say that the race was very well organised and marshalled. I shall definitely consider it again next year!