It all started out a bit hectic at the Redcar Half Marathon, thanks to a shortage of busses from the designated parking areas. Having stood in the queue since 9:30, the 10am start time came and went, and it was 10:10 before myself, Jane and Denise were near enough the front of the queue to get on a bus. Despite reassurances from marshals that the start would be delayed, we jogged towards the start line at 10:20 to find it suspiciously empty, and realised that we might have a good bit of catching up to do! Luckily the race was being chip-timed. The first mile of the race loops back on itself, which meant we got a few waves and puzzled looks from fellow Striders who were clearly wondering how we could be so far behind so early in the race. I decided that I would go on a mission to catch as much purple as possible! From then on, things just seemed to come together (in a way that they rarely do for me in half-marathons!), and I found myself running very comfortably at an 8:30 mile pace.
I started catching some Striders, and said hello to Alan, Mike, Greta, Alistair, Anna as I began to make up a bit of time. I kept thinking I was going too fast and would have to slow down, but I must have been having a Forrest Gump kind of day and just kept on running. The weather, although a bit dingy, did make the running conditions nice and cool, and I must thank Alistair’s wife Jacquie for her most enthusiastic cheering! I finally caught Dave, George and Karen near the 11mile point and was shocked to realise I was possibly on track for a sub 1:50 time, something I have never been able to achieve before. Over the last 2 miles I felt great, and determined to crack the 1:50, I sped up on the last mile once the finish was in sight. The crowd support here was great and the music was blaring, and I spotted the 3 African runners who had won the race casually strolling along the side of the road admiring their race t-shirts and goody bags, which gave me such a boost. This is what I love about running, the fact that everyone takes part in the same race, however fast or slow they are. I crossed the line in 1:49:14, knocking almost 3 mins off my pb which I haven’t been able to beat in 2 years. Karen and Jane both also got pb’s too, proving that although the course isn’t particularly scenic it is fast! The souvenirs at the end were great: More Mile t-shirt, More Mile socks, medal and bag which I think made up for the bus shortage!
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