Fleet Half Marathon
Jonathon advertised this as a flat PB course. Cue lots of keen Phoenixians to enter with thoughts of a pancake flat stroll in the park. Sandra, Jonty, Pac, Kris, Tom, Lexi, Jonathon and myself all lined up for this early season sharpener.
A slightly chilly morning saw around 2500 athletes limbering up for this race. My course research extended to working out where the start line was, this was going to be a play it by ear special... Not really thinking about what I was doing, I managed to get stuck right in the middle of a 2500 ish strong field at the start. Weaving through the crowds for the first couple of miles proved hectic, however it did mean I could say hi to a couple of fellow phoenixians on the way round. Good to see the club kit getting an outing from everyone.
This was the first non-triathlon hald marathon for me, and I actually had a strategy for this race which involved a heart rate monitor. Unfotunately after 5 minutes my polar was going crazy and reading all sorts of wacky figures, even when I took it off. Down to plan B then and stick to the old combination of time and mile markers - always have a plan B!
The 'flat' course proved to be very rolling, and downright hilly in a couple of places. I found this actually improved the experience, adding a bit of extra challenge in there and breaking up the miles. The crowds cheering racers on were plentiful and gave a festival atmosphere to the event.
I decided to try and give it a bit of a rip from about 6 miles out with a view to laying down some good pacy miles and hang on at the end. This sort of worked OK until I started feeling quite light headed and had to wind it back a touch. I worked out at the final mile marker that I needed to do the last 1.1 miles in just over 7 minutes to make the 1hr 30 mark. Unfortunately there was nothing left, so fading badly tramped in quite a way adrift of the 90 minute mark. Note to self, less hours at work, and some training required!
A good showing by the Phoenix, ahead of me the pace boys Tom and Jonty had laid down some ridiculously rapid times, and everyone had made it in under the 2 hour mark. All those wise words from the coaches must by paying off then! Things were tight with the girls, with just 5 minutes separating everyone.
Hero of the day had to be the chap from the army who achieved the world record of half marathon in full army kit with a full pack on. Seriously impressive stuff. Sandra informs me that he collapsed on the finish line, but they managed to revive him with some champagne, just in time for the photographers!
Recommended race, interesting course and great support all the way round.
Sandra: 1hr 54m
Lexi 1hr 58m
Kristyn 1hr 59m
and the boys...
Tom: 1hr 23m
Jonty: 1hr 26m
Phil: 1hr 36m
Jonathan: 1hr 37m
Pascal: 1hr 47m