Monday, 25 October 2010

Birmingham Half

What a day! I won't go into all the drama I had with my car breaking down before the race, but I'll stick to the event and the run itself! 

Another early start! Kick off was 09:00, which meant I had to get up at 05:30 to get up to Brum on time. For some reason they closed the baggage drop at 08:30, which didn't help, so I decided to forget the baggage drop completely and just head to the start straight from the car park. I'm really against such early starts when its so cold, at this temperature you should only run when the sun is high in the sky!

The start was really messy, there were signs displaying the colour coded pens, but they were small and everyone seemed a little confused as to where they should be. It took me a while to find my place and I had to climb over the barriers to get a space in the pens. Luckily there were a couple of nice young men in the pen who helped me over, which was a good start. It was a slow start; I was close to the start line, but didn't get across until 09:10. That was a bit of a farce as well as once we got over the finish line we had to walk for the first 200m! I think the problem was because the course narrowed suddenly so the was just no room to run ahead. Either way it  added valuable seconds to my time.

I started without my usual fuel drink, as I forgot to take it out of the fridge, so I decided to put my faith in the organisers and go with whatever was available on the course. Luckily the water stations were all n the right places and I managed to get water at 5km, Lucozade at 6km and well after that I wasn't exactly worried! Luckily I had spent the week training without taking fuel or water on up to 11km, so it didn't put me out too much. The cruelest part of the race was when we went past Cadbury World and I could smell all the lovely chocolate! The aroma just filled the street, I've never been to Cadbury World, but a trip is now in order!

The thing I enjoy most about my running is my innate ability in the run up to a race to forget things like 'undulating', or 'hilly' in the race description... Nonetheless, it wasn't long before I remembered... Considering how hard I found the inclines I did really well time wise. It was a serious struggle, I went into this race certain of a PB and I had hit just under 11km at the half way point so I was certain I would make it. Unfortunately the last 5 miles of the course were the hilliest points and it was a serious struggle on tired legs; even my usual mantras couldn't keep me going for long.

I eventually finished in 2:02:23 on a slightly long course of 21.3km and received a text confirmation of my time (always nice). The rest of the finish line was yet another joke! The finish was so congested that you had to push your way forward to get on the mat to register your chip time. It then took 15mins to walk through the congestion and get to where they were handing out space blankets and goody bags. The one good thing is that the goody bags contained sized t-shirts in ladies and mens styles and sizes and I was able to get a shirt that fits for once! The medal is nice and shiny too, but I wasn't hugely impressed! All in all it was a good and challenging race, there were however too many organisational issues that really let it down. Would I do it again? Yes, just maybe not next year...

Splits - in km as I find it works better for me as I'm running!
1km - 5:18.4
2km - 5:28.68
3km - 5:42.43
4km - 5:35.2
5km - 5:53.4
6km - 5:52.16
7km - 5:45.66
8km - 5:54.44
9km - 6:04.29
10km - 5:11.16
11km - 5:42.62
12km - 5:34.2
13km - 5:39.86
14km - 5:56.68
15km - 5:50.7
16km - 5:41.2
17km - 5:34.37
18km - 6:54.53
19km - 6:20.84
20km - 5:57.06
21km - 4:57.95
0.3km - 1:27.56

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