A Dirty Half!

Dirt Half Challenge

by Lisa Bowyer

The day had finally arrived! With some preparation under my belt I felt slightly confident that I could get my aim of under 2 hours. This was my second half marathon and the first was in MK in May with a time of 1 hour 57 mins. So with the weather man saying expect “hellish rain” I was expecting the conditions to be tough!

Rocking a black sack, I arrived a the start to see all the LBAC lads ready right at the front on the starting line. They all looked keen and ready to race! “Join us here” they said. I didn’t as I thought I would be the slow one in the way at the front of the pack so went a bit further back (big regret!). I should of started with them and gone to the side and used the field to get my pace. I got stuck in clumps of people and it wasn’t until Tesco that I felt like I had cleared out of a pack and got a good pace going. It’s a nice canal run up to the Three Locks with plenty of support along the way.

There were some slow bits on the normal part of the canal where a pack of women were talking and taking up the path. I need to work on my overtaking methods!!

At about 6 miles it was time to take on heart attack hill! I picked a marker and used them to keep me going up the hill. I had lots of advice going round in my head “smaller steps, use your arms”. It was tough but worth it when I got to the top to see my boys clapping and shouting “Come on Mummy!”

It was then a nice run through Stockgrove woods with some slipping and sliding. Lucky enough I managed to stay up right!

After the woods it was then up on Greensand Ridge where it was quite frustrating as it was single file and I had found myself behind some gentle trotters. I used the open hill to do some overtaking. The summer speed sessions with James really helped me at this point as I mentally knew what I needed to do to get down to the canal.

The whole way round I had no idea on time because of my dodgy watch so was grateful to everyone by the Globe gate who told me the time so I knew what I had to do to get my target finish.

After a cheer and jelly baby from Kate, I made my way up the canal. The toughest point of the whole race was from Tesco to the waterside park. I was starting to feel it in my legs and my energy was going. I saw a few LBAC supporters who gave me the encouragement to keep going. Then it was round the park and straight into the finish with a time of 1hour 54 minutes. I had got within my target time and beat my first Half marathon time.

I learnt a few things that morning about racing, but the biggest thing I learned was don’t trust everything the weatherman says…. there was no “hellish rain”!!!! The conditions were good.

It was a good morning for LBAC with Billy Mead, Adam Haylock, Charlie Mead and Tom & Tim Inchley finishing as the first team home to win the award! Both Mead boys also achieved PBs on a slippy and hilly course. Warren Rose, David Killick, Tracey Hawes and Richard Inchley also had some good runs with Richard picking up the MV70 prize.

Well done to everyone who ran!