Dead Runners society race report
Linton Village College half marathon - Sunday 24th March 2002.
Two weeks later a more serious race, a chance to redeem myself after blowing up at the end of the race last year.
Tony here in Cambridge, back up the motorway to Warrington and work in an
hour or so :-(
Today I did the Linton Village College half marathon, Linton is about 10
miles SE of Cambridge. I did this race last year and did a good 10 mile race
before blowing up and struggling in to the end. The original plan was to do
the Wilmslow half marathon up north today but I didn't enter in time and the
race filled up. So I decided to have another go at Linton, off I went with
the beautiful Shelley.
I jogged an easy mile before the race to warm up, felt a bit sluggish as I
had had a hard week of training, this race was just practice for another
half marathon in a couple of months. A pleasant spring like day, cool and
sunny with a bit of a breeze, a lot nicer than the gales of my last road
race 2 weeks ago in Stowmarket. For the first time since last summer another
Cambridge and Coleridge AC runner (apart from Shelley) had entered a road
race with me, I had a chat with him before the race began. The usual
pre-race excuses were given as we filled up our sandbags :-)
Off we went, didn't try to go off too hard, after last year I wanted to save
something for the 2nd half of the race. We left the village of Linton to
start our undulating tour of the country lanes. Mile 1 in 7.10, gradually
passing the fast starters but not trying to pass runners yet. Mile 2 in
14.25/7.15 and mile 3 in 21.36/7.11, I was passing runners on the uphills
and losing places on the downhills, still not trying to race yet. 4 miles in
28.53/7.17 and this was the end of the out part of the course, we now
started a loop of about 5 miles before running back to Linton. A steep
downhill to 5 miles, I could hear runners catching me on the way down. 5
miles in 35.37/6.44, last year I got to 5 miles in 34.27, I was a bit
concerned that I had gone off too slowly but I knew there was a long way to
go. As we turned a corner and started to climb the footsteps behind me faded
away as I pushed on up the hill then some different footsteps cruised past
me, I didn't try to follow him. 6 miles in 42.58/7.21.
Just after 6 another runner from Halstead caught me up and we had a little
chat as he had passed me in the Stowmarket 10 miler 2 weeks ago. I was
content to let him go away from me as there was still a long way to go but
the next mile had a long downhill and he wasn't getting away, by 7 miles
50.01/7.03 I was back on his shoulder and we were gradually reeling in
runners ahead of us. 8 miles in 56.52/6.51 and I was working hard to stick
with Mr Halstead but my plan was to push on harder from here. We came to the
end of the loop and saw a road sign pointing to Linton on the course, 9
miles in 1h03.39/6.47, now I was going flat out and we kept passing runners.
10 miles in 1h10.24/6.45, last year I reached this point in 1h10.13 so I was
only just behind, I was hopeful of hanging on to Mr Halstead and running
faster than last year.
Tough going from now up a long drag, 11 miles in 1h17.11/6.47, over the top
of the hill and a nice downhill run to the village, unfortunately this was
into the wind. Really hard work to hang on to Mr Halstead but I dug in, back
into the village and pretty soon there was the 12 mile marker which we
reached in 1h23.44/6.32. Shortly after this the cord broke and Mr Halstead
finally got ahead after towing me along for the last 6 miles. A real
struggle in from here but I knew I was on to beat last year's best time.
With about 1/2 mile to go my watch said 1h27.xx and I suddenly thought I
could not only beat last years race time but my best time for all half
marathons in 2001! I lost a couple more places in the last 1/2 mile but
finally back to the grounds of the college, 13 miles in 1h30.50/7.06 and
just the finish straight to go and I could see I was going to run a really
Over the finish line in 1h31.40!! I thanked Mr Halstead for a good race, he
finished about 30s ahead of me, my Cambridge and Coleridge clubmate finished
about 4 minutes behind me. Last year I struggled to 1h33.42 after I blew up
at 10 miles, this was my fastest half marathon since 1998 when I fractured
my knee and had a spell on crutches, I ran 1h31.59 in the Grunty Fen half
marathon last September. Very tired but very pleased on finishing, a very
encouraging run on a fairly tough course :-) Hopefully I can run sub 1h30 on
an easier course after that.
The beautiful Shelley met me after the race, she had run in the 3km fun run
and retained her first lady title from last year. A good day for both of us.
Another couple had a good race today, the race was won by my old Cambridge
University Hare and Hounds teammate Dan Leggate and Dan's wife Ellen won the
Dr Tony Bell
Midweek. Warrington, Cheshire.
Weekends. Milton, Cambridge.