This race was originally intended as a family get-together but due to drop-outs from my sister-in-law (injured foot) and my two sisters (1. just had a baby and 2. scared that she would get beaten by me) it was just me, Jon and my little brother on the start-line for the Cambridge Half. The remainder of the family were out in support of us though which was nice and even nicer was that the sun had finally come out. This, while unquestionably lovely, actually was a bit of an issue since I had packed my bag while in the arctic tundra that was Durham on the Thursday before the race so only had thermals and long trousers, but I had an emergency t-shirt at least although to be honest I reckon I could have run in just my vest, it was that warm.
The race itself was two laps taking in the outskirts of Cambridge city centre and then a large portion of the beautiful city streets and colleges. There were no hills to speak of other than a few up-and-downy bridges and the Cambridge residents were out in force, rivalling the Great North Run for turning out and cheering in vast numbers. The race numbers had our names printed on them so despite the lack of cheering Striders there were still plenty of “Come on Kirsty” cheers which was nice, and my family did us proud as well. Having two laps is nicer for spectators too as they get to see people more than once. It wasn’t too bad for runners either actually, and two laps is definitely better than three!
I used to work in Cambridge and managed to bump into some old colleagues in the start pen, they were aiming for about the same time as me (somewhere under 1:55) and had planned pretty much the same race strategy as me (hang on to the 1hr 45 pacer for as long as possible). This strategy worked excellently for about the first 100m when both he and my ex-colleagues disappeared out of sight so I decided to just run my own race and see how I went. I was going well for the first 4 miles and enjoying the reminiscing (ooh look that is where Jon and I went on our first date, ooh look, that is where I passed out after drinking too much and Jon had to carry me home) but then the heat combined with my recent loss of mojo hit me hard and the last 9 were a bit of a struggle. The 2hr pacer went past me at about 8 miles and I knew I was in for a bit of a hard last only-a-parkrun to go, especially as there was a big drag after the end of the second loop to the finish which was at least a mile around and took forever. I got there in the end though, well outside my best but not bad in the conditions. The goody bag was a medal, beer, crisps, fruit and a gel starter pack but no t-shirt, this was especially sad since I had used my emergency t-shirt to run in and hence was a little short of clothes to wear for the long journey home, but never mind.
In contrast to me, Jon and my brother did really well, a rather dehydrated Jon just outside his PB despite not being able to get the stupid water pouches to work and my brother finishing in 80th, hopefully on course for his sub-3hr at Dusseldorf marathon in April. The race was followed by a lovely picnic in my sister’s garden (it was 19 degrees C by this point!) and ritual mocking of those family members who had not made the start. We will (ALL) be back next year!
|1||Aaron Scott||Notts AC||M||1:06:28|
|24||Ellie Matthews||City of Norwich AC||F||1:18:51|
|80||Duncan Anderson||Victoria Park Harriers||M||1:23:53|
|328||Jon Steed||Elvet Striders||M||1:34:30|
|2315||Kirsty Anderson||Elvet Striders||F||2:08:22|