Grant and Scott Wycombe half marathon July 20th 2014
Entered this race about ten days ago as the plan says ‘thou shalt do a half marathon’. So I did. It also says I should be running a 1:50, so that was my secret plan. A PB.
As the race started at 9:30am we left Norwich at 6am to drive to Wycombe. On a Sunday. Runners are bonkers, aren’t they? I am pretty gosh darn lucky to have a husband that not only puts up with me doing the races, but also gets up at 5am on his only day off to drive me to a race and back – five hours of driving in one day.
The race was pretty small but perfectly formed – the 10k and the half marathoners started at the same time which was pretty cool – it follows the same course for 5k so I saw plenty of people parting company at that point, waving goodbye and shouting encouragement.
The Start and Finish were in the same field, in the cricket club. Parking was well signposted and well marshalled, toilet facilities definitely could have been better (50% unusable by 8:45) but changing rooms and showers were welcome.
The route itself had a killer hill in the first 1k – not great for East Anglian legs! My plan was to sub 2 as I haven’t managed that since March. My secret wish was to PB (sub 1:50) but with the heat and the hills, that was unlikely to happen. The water stations were really regular and had sponges and cups of water with lots of cheery people handing them out – a couple were even staffed by scouts. There were plenty of other people in their gardens too, cheering everyone on and handing out their own water, or hosing people down. Most of the route is on reasonably quiet roads, some of it is through housing estates. There was a really fun downhill about half way, which made the earlier hill effort worth it!
I struggled in the final 5k, my pace dropping from sub 9 min/mils to between 9 and 9:30. Spurred on by the crowd and encouraged by fellow runners, I crossed the line in 1:57. For about £18 (half the cost of Plymouth) you get a medal, a tshirt and a goody bag with fairly standard (and welcome) contents – mars bar, sweeties, apple, orange, pistachios, coconut water, bottle of water and, oddly, a full sized sponge. Still not sure what to do with that, to be honest.
The race is gun time only despite the number coming with a fancy wired chip on the back. With such a small field it doesn’t make much of a difference, and the start was so wide that there’s plenty of room.
We drove home via a previously researched pub in Duxford (about half way home) called The John Barleycorn. It was really nice and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful, even though I was a pain and wanted something off menu. Darn post run appetite. I had a sausage and onion marmalade sandwich, Mr Charming had a steak and stilton sandwich and we shared chips. Shared! It was a big ol’ portion. Don’t worry, we had cake when we got home.
So, I’m pleased with a sub 2 but a bit disappointed with a 1:57. I wanted to be faster as that’ll make me feel better for Loch Ness. It’s not far away now and I should be in good shape, not struggling half way through a half marathon. Any suggestions? I think my brain needs a good old fashioned talking to as I feel fine today, slightly stiff but nothing like I would expect to if I’d run flat out. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough.
|Photo credits: The lovely LS who agreed to do it on a whim when I floated the idea. The best type of friends are runners!|