I knew I was starting to get into a bit of decent shape, after decent runs out at Lockington (Major Stone half marathon) and the Great North Run when pacing 2 hours seemed really easy. Normally I’d have gone for the Redcar half marathon with the rest of the club but an old college friend of mine getting back into running, Nick, was running this one and with the Grand Prix already in the bag, a number courtesy of Sweatshop, and a chance to call in and stay over at Jacquie’s brother’s nearby it was too much to resist.
This is a big event with approx 8,000 entries and is striving to gain a reputation as one of the fastest halves around. It didn’t disappoint. I’d have to take a little issue with the scenic part of the description but once you’ve seen Nottingham Castle once you don’t need to see it often and there were some parts which were certainly more scenic than Redcar – the one small hill leading up and through the University campus and around the lake was lovely – the loop around the Boots campus, less so.
Fast though. The aim was to do steady 7min 38sec miles to dip just under 1.40 for the first time and that’s exactly what I did, even with a little to spare. Looking back i’m now a bit puzzled why I’ve never broken 100mins for a half before – it really didn’t feel anything other than steady, which I think must be a tribute to my conditioning (lots of races), nutrition (lots of gels) and pacing (lots and lots of pacing). I even managed a slight negative split.
Everything about the event was excellent, plenty of free parking, well marshalled route, loads of drinks, nice medal. If I had to have a slight moan (I usually do), the entry price for those that didn’t manage to blag their way in for free was a little steep (compared to say Redcar, but not the GNR) and you didn’t get a T-shirt but I felf so guilty about the aforementioned blag that I bought one from the Sweatshop stand anyway.
Nick had a great run coming in under two hours which was his target, Jacquie slightly less so – a 10 minute ambulance stop doesn’t do wonders for the time, but she was right as rain shortly afterwards and managed to finish on her own two feet. All in all a grand day out.