This was to be my 2nd ever half marathon, as I don’t really do this distance very often. I had a great deal of fun winding people up; particularly non-runners, talking about this as short distance training or a light sprint. In truth, I find half marathons really difficult. You can’t settle into a pace like you can in a marathon; a gentle plod with very little stress. With a half marathon, I’m well out of my comfort zone from the starting gun.
The ‘Macc Half’ is an excellent route. I enjoy the fact that it isn’t all on a flat; there are some reasonable hills in there to keep it interesting, even if it means it isn’t the fastest of half marathon races.
Race preparation is something I put a lot into normally. I think it’s important to train and eat well in the build up to the race. On this occasion, I would say that I did everything a little bit wrong. That same weekend, I was also entered into a Cheshire squash tournament, and consequently did a lot of running to and from the event. In fact, the day before the race I had accumulated 16.5 miles of steep running, as well as playing in my squash match.
Going over my checklist on race morning: Over trained, check! Under slept, check! What did I eat yesterday? Can’t even remember. This is going to be good.
It was a perfect day for running; overcast, but not cold and very dry. The race kicks off with a couple of laps around the racetrack by the leisure centre, before heading out into Macclesfield, and ascending the road towards Alderley Edge.
I was already tired running around the track, with only myself to blame. I soldiered on stubbornly, putting in a couple of 6 minute miles to begin my campaign. The front runners had a pace I couldn’t quite live with in the first 3 miles. I hoped I’d be able to pull it back at around 5 where the hills kick in. I did pull it back a little to be fair, but not really enough; my legs had had enough from the weekends shenanigans. I settled into a 6.30 to 7 minute mile pace and even mustered a laboured sprint finish at the end.
The event is well sponsored, and a fetching, bright yellow technical T was part of the well-stocked goodie bag. Along with some socks from ‘Running Bear’ shop in Alderley and the customary shower gels and sports bar.
Like all these events, I like to stay to the end to cheer in all the runners. This also adds to the social side of running. It was nice to catch up with runners met in other events; giving my facebook a welcomed sustenance in the process.
The presentation was well attended; I didn’t actually realise I was in the prizes to be honest, but a bottle of Chile’s finest for the accolade of top 7 was a welcome surprise, but did make me wish I was better prepared. Oh well, next year.