So roll on 3weeks since #runreigate, I was feeling good in the week leading up to the Perkins Great Eastern Run – no aches or pains, and more importantly not a cold in sight.
It was not such an early start as RunReigate as Peterborough is around 1 hours drive from Stevenage for me. Racers breakfast eaten – the standard double poached eggs, beans, waffles and toast, along with pancakes and maple syrup, and I was soon on the road to Peterborough.
I got to the site slight later than anticipated as there was some quite heavy traffic in and around the Town Centre, eventually managing to get parked up around 10mins walk away from the site, and made my way to meet a friend from work Mike, who I had coerced into taking a trip to the fens for the day. I dropped my bag off after a bit of a queue, and headed to the start having been unable to meet up with Mike because there were around 4.5K people to look through!
The route itself was sold as fast and flat which indeed it was. I felt relatively content before the race, no last minute nerves, & no panic pees..! At around 10:15am I made my way to the 1hr 40min starting pen – I had purposely gone in a slightly quicker group this time around because of the experience I had at Reigate where I had to jostle for a clear path. I mean, in principle, I was technically aiming for a sub 1hr 45min time which is nearer to 1hr 40mins than 1hr 50mins, so I felt justified in doing so. Either way, I was in the second group to head off only a minute or so from the gun time. I must admit, I felt quite happy knowing how far I had come and safe in the knowledge that I was constantly improving.
I opted for the tried and tested hydration strategy before the race with high5 berry, and for during the race, I had sufficient energy gels for the duration of the race at a rate of 1 gel every 20mins, with x2 SiS GO Energy Bar Minis and x1 gel before the race.
When the gun went, I got into a really good rhythm from the off and my legs felt great. I was aiming for a sub 1hr 45min result, so I knew straight away that to confidently achieve this i need to be averaging sub 5min kms consistently for the duration of the half marathon. The first few kilometres were slightly quicker than this, and eventually I dropped into a consistent 4min55s average with relative comfort.
As with previous half marathons, I opted for the two bottle hydration technique which seemed to have worked so well:
- hydrate with 2 bottles at each water stop
- bottle 1 to drink as required (not too much)
- bottle 2 for cooling – ie. chuck over ones head
- if by the next watering station bottle 1 has not run out, do a bottle 2 with bottle 1!
- collect more water, & rinse and repeat…!
For an October morning it was actually quite mild, and I was feeling quite heady at a couple of points, and I regretted not bringing my visor with me again….!
At the halfway point, I was in good shape and well on course for a sub 1hr 45min – perhaps by only around 1 or 2 mins or so.
In the second half of the race, i posted some of my slower kilometer segments and in hindsight i think this may well have been because i went out slightly too quick at the start. However, that said, of the whole 21km distance, I only posted 4 laps that were slower than 5min / km and only accounted for a few seconds outside the pace.
The last kilometer was a real challenge and I was really feeling it in my legs – in the last 600metres or so, a fellow runner caught me up and said “come on Mr Tri – let’s do this” – I must admit, i was pretty knackered and was going to coast in, but he really spurned me on, so I went with him – we rotated leading paces like a cycling peloton with him cutting through the traffic, and me shadowing and vice versa. We both finished on a sprint finish, with him just pipping me at the finish line – it was brilliant – we high-fived and chatted for around 30 seconds, and went our separate ways – the highlight of the run for me was finishing on a sprint finish with the last kilometre in 4min10s peaking at a 3min 28s pace! WOWSER!
Anyhow – that last kilometer aside, my official time was 1hr44mins06s – I had officially gone sub 1hr45m for a half marathon! Yay!
the obligatory medal and pint shot!
Stats & graph fans…!
- One hour: 12.25km
- 10km: 48min 50s
- Half Marathon: 1hr 44m 06s
- Garmin Half Marathon: 1hr 43m 37s