RunThrough Lee Valley VeloPark Half Marathon, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, Saturday, March 25, 2017

13.1 miles

Stephen Jackson

I’ve worked with coach Allan Seheult on three road marathons now, and we always schedule three races within a relatively short 10 week build up, with little to no taper before the races.

The sequence goes something along the lines of 10k, longest run (3 hours), half marathon, marathon pace tempo run, 5k race, marathon.

All of the above, other that the marathon, is training. There is no time for the luxury of 10k or half marathon specific sessions or rest days to taper for the races. The races are part of ‘the process’, not the ‘A race’.

I was, therefore, rather pleased to run a solid half marathon time in amongst a fairly solid block of training.

The event was unusual, thirteen and bit one mile laps of the Velo Park in London. The venue is testament to the legacy of the London Olympic Games, still in great condition and well used by the residents of London and those further afield. It provided a great race HQ with showers, toilets, café, lockers etc.

In a strange sort of way the event quite suited my aim of running a solid, even paced half to get the legs turning over quicker than marathon pace.

Who needs scenery, eh?

I set off, on or around half marathon PB pace following one other runner through the timing mat for the first time; only 13 laps to go. We traded places a couple of times within the first couple of miles before I put in a little surge to drop him on the second lap. From there, I was running on my own. Except, of course, I wasn’t.

As early as the second lap I was overtaking people, which wasn’t a problem and made for a great atmosphere on the course as a few fellow runners gave shouts of encouragement. The only negative, as it emerged, was that I clearly wasn’t taking ‘the racing line’ whilst overtaking people and ended up running about 400m too far which cost me a PB on the day.

The laps were slightly undulating, on a smooth tarmac surface. I worked the hills with a few sharp strides and recovered as the course rolled back downhill. The repetition meant that I could find a rhythm, subtly easing off with the wind in my face and pushing on in the opposite direction. My lap splits were pleasingly consistent and on another day, in another race, I think I probably had a good time in me. That can wait, for now.

The race was well organised in great facilities with lots of friendly volunteers. Runners got a medal, a banana, a protein drink and a pat on the back – the same if you finished first or last.

Actually, first place got free entry to another race so I think I’ll go back sometime.

Pos Race No Name Net Time Category Club
1 942 STEPHEN JACKSON 01:15:24 Male Elvet Striders
2 1854 MARK WAINWRIGHT 01:20:50 Male
3 1919 ADRAIN BURKE 01:23:49 V35
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One thought on “RunThrough Lee Valley VeloPark Half Marathon

  1. Hi Stephen- thank you for your insights about this course. I’m considering racing it next week to try and grab a PB. As best as you can remember, how did you find the three 180-degree turns? It otherwise looks like a good course, but I’m worried about getting needlessly worn down by the 39 180-degree turns. Thanks for the info!

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