Clowne Half Marathon Race Reports

I had last week off work, and spent it doing a few jobs around the house, getting prepared for Christmas and walking with my wife, and in the end, I managed to do no running whatsoever. I'm sure that the fast walks were at least some compensation for not running though :)

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!

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