|Hornsea 1/3 Marathon|
The weather was cool but sunny with no wind. The course is flat and fast. The stars seemed to be aligning to give me a great shot at going for a new half marathon PB. Pre-race nerves were kicking in now as I had decided to go for it. I knew the pace would be fast and I would be suffering in the latter stages of the race. Very different to a race where you have no expectations, just ease into it and enjoy. Not today though, it was serious business and time to go to work. Although Zoe wasn't on the start with me, a good running buddy called Sian was there and we wished each other luck as we prepared to start.
Once underway, I settled into a pace around 6min 50secs/mile. I wanted to run the race at an even split. The first few miles passed and I was maintaining the same pace, just under 6.50's and my legs felt pretty good. I know after the few few miles if my legs have it in them to go for a fast time. Some days that feel heavy and slow but not today, they felt strong and fast.
As I reached the mile 8 marker, I was right behind the 1hr 30min pacers. The group running with them had reduced in size but still enough to make passing them a little difficult. So I decided to draft behind them for a while. As we reached mile 10, the group had reduced in size further still, it was now around a dozen or so people running with 2 pacers. However, my legs were no longer feeling strong and I was starting to find it tough. Time to dig in!
With just 3 miles to go, the pacers could see that the expressions around them were changing and breathing was getting heavier. Pain was kicking it. The cool temperature of the early morning was gone and it was getting hot. It was becoming a test of perseverance and determination. The pacers were becoming more vocal now and shouts of encouragement were helping. By mile 11, my legs were finished and now it was mind over matter. I wanted this and with only 2 miles to go, it was mine for the taking.
I was properly tired but so thrilled to achieve my goal. I ran a even split race of 6min 50sec/mile ave pace. My running buddy Sian and fellow Driffield Strider ran 1hr 32mins and was first woman in her age category.
The North Lincolnshire Half Marathon is an extremely well organised event. It has a great atmosphere, with friendly faces. Its run on a flat and scenic course. I cannot recommend it enough and I for one will be coming back again next year.