I checked the time on my watch, my phone and everything else I could think of before going to bed, the clocks were going forward and some comedian had decided that the race would start at 9:30am – I was convinced I was going to turn up an hour late.
I got to Sefton Park in plenty of time, wandered towards the start and bumped straight into Jakesy and Fat Boy Slim. Next stop was the glamourous porta loos – thought I’d better go whilst there was no huge queues. Walked towards the rendez vous spot, myself, Viking and MTB were supposed to meet at 8:30. Got a text from Viking, MTB had slept through her alarm and they were running half an hour late, so just walked around, people watching – the slim, long limbed “proper” runners mingled with the very obvious scouse fun runners decked out in their freshly ironed Stevie G shirts and those well known running shoes, the Addidas Samba !
Eventually my mates turned up and we wandered over to the start area. At 9:15am we stripped off and handed our bags in ready for the 9:30am start. So I’m stood there in a vest and shorts when the announcer comes over the PA ” The start has been delayed for at least 15 minutes, try and stay warm people!” Oh bollocks !
Eventually I wish Viking and MTB well and go and line up in between the 1:30 and 1:45 markers. Why races have these is beyond me because the “fun” runners ignore it, I lost count of how many “large” and “old ” ladies I passed in the first mile walking along red faced in their various charity t-shirts.
I got into my running quite early on and felt comfortable, instantly though I know that it was going to be too hot for me today. I struggled for a while going down Upper Parliamnet St as we passed the first water station at about 4.5 miles but then seemed to get a second wind. My times were looking good through 8 and 9 miles when I started to really feel the blister on my right foot, bit of a boost as we passed the crowds again coming back to the park and then I just died between 11 miles and the finish. I think with the exception of the last 5 miles of the 2005 Blackpool Half ( where I had dehydration and heatstroke ) it was possible the slowest I have ever ran in a race.
Mile 11 -12 was all uphill and it was torture, my brain kept telling my legs to move because at that point I was on for a new pb of about 1:37 but my legs response was ” You’ve got to be bloody joking!” There was nothing left, as people passed me in their dozens.
I virtually crawled over the finish line but I was very pleased with my time of 1:44:33. I said that I was originally aiming for under 1:50. Which isn’t bad at all considering that 6 weeks ago I wasn’t runing because of an injury.
I collected my gear, dranks lots of water and waiting for Viking and MTB. They finished in a very respectable 1:59. They told stories of there being no water at the stations when they got there – unbelievable that, and no excuse for it !
So I ‘m very pleased with my return to racing, but boy am I stiff today.
Congratualtions to everyone else that ran, and to my training partner Andy H who completed the Bath half marathon in 1:45:07.
13.1 miles 1:44:33 Av Hr 168 Calories: 1984
Av pace: 8:08 best pace: 5:15
Heres the breakdown of mile splits, garmin lost the satelite at times so these are rough:
1. 7:18 2. 7:32 3. 6:47 4. 7:16 5. 6:27 6: 8:33 7. 7:14
8. 7:47 9. 8:36 10. 8:24 11. 9:19 12: 12:08 13: 14.01
The last couple of miles show that I really need to work on my stamina and fitness, but as I said I’m really pleased with my comeback race.