Great Eastern Half Marathon

On 10 May 2009 I ran 1 hour 21 mins and 10 seconds for the half marathon in Leeds.  I felt on top of the world that day and really didn't think I'd ever beat that time.  Fast forward to 2014 and things have been clicking.  I've been running times that I didn't believe I'd ever be able to and absolutely loving it. 

I know I should have been with the rest of the team in Cassiobury Park, but I selfishly signed up for the Perkins Great Eastern Half Marathon in Peterborough.  I'm (slightly) ashamed to say I've been picking races recently that are flat and this one looked perfect.  

The weather was absolutely ideal about 11 degrees and a little sunshine with no rain to be seen!  I bumped into Lamby from Marshall MKAC, a training partner most Tuesdays and Sundays (see photo) who was his normal enthusiastic self urging me to get towards the front of the pack. My aim (and what I'd trained towards) was to try and get under 80 minutes for the first time.  In my head if I could get to 10 miles on the hour then I could dig in for the last 3 and a bit to get under 80.  

What actually happened was beyond my wildest dreams.  I started quickly, which isn't unusual for me running the first 5km in about 17.40.  What I was then expecting was for my pace to gradually slow and for it to be a real battle.  Amazingly I was able to maintain my pace and hit halfway at around 38 minutes.  Suddenly I realised I was in with a real chance of a huge PB if I could keep the pace in the 2nd half.  When I hit the 10 mile point in 58 minutes I knew it was a special run and I could get to the finish line.  After a bit of a loop round the park I hit 13 miles and absolutely went for it down the final straight crossing the line just as the clock ticked over the 1 hour and 17 minutes, but as I didn't start right at the front my chip time reads 01:16:56.  I'm not embarrassed to say I punched the air and shouted 'Get In' quite loudly!  A huge PB of over 4 minutes.

The day was then made even better as I spotted various friendly faces that I didn't know were going to be there.  First there was Adrian Mason from Barnet & District AC (my boyhood club and home town), then Matt Clarke (also from Marshall MKAC) and finally Lamby who had run a storming run too of 81 minutes.  Everyone had run fast times and it really was a great day. 

There were a few small inclines and some tightish turns, but the course really was fantastic.  The organisation was top notch and there were hundreds of supporters clapping and cheering throughout the course.  I really recommend it to anyone wanting to beat their half marathon PB next year!