Having only joined Striders towards the back end of 2018 Sunday 13th January marked my first race in the purple and green vest. Not knowing many people and complete with my shiny new Striders hoody I arrived super-early so as not to miss the bus to Brass Monkey 2019.
I’ve never really described myself as a runner, so joining a club was a big deal for me. I’d done some running prior to having my children (a couple of GNRS back in 2013 & 2014 – one of which is best never to be mentioned again and a handful of 10ks) but always seemed to find myself injured.
The last 12 months have been different. Coming back from having William, I have done a lot of running. Significantly slower than I used to try to run, I have learned to love it and this led me to joining Striders and getting up at silly o’clock in October to try and get a place in Brass Monkey. Well okay – I was up anyway with an 11-month-old, but it was still very early! I was keen to have something to aim for over the winter to keep me going out when the nights were dark and cold and so was delighted to get a place.
Having done the GNR 2018 in 2hr10 (including having to stop for the loo!) I knew I would likely go a little faster and the intention was to do my best but to try and relax/not worry about time. I had in mind to work towards the magical sub 2 hour half later in the year after trying to build up some speed and so decided to run the race without looking at my watch and just go by feel. I seem to not be very good at the battle inside my head during a race. I see a fast pace and spend the whole time worrying I’ll blow up – which then of course I do or I see a slow pace and spend the whole time thinking I’m not good enough. Perhaps only recently have I truly realised how much of running is mental strength.
Anyway, Sunday morning was here and the weather was really very warm for January. It was certainly windy but the potential 40mph gusts didn’t worry me too much as this was about enjoying the race no matter what. Brass Monkey is a very well organised race with lovely indoor facilities and a massive Striders contingent. I certainly don’t feel like I don’t know anyone anymore! Having been chatting at the start I met another lady who was also going to run without her watch and although I knew she was quicker than me I thought I could probably stick with her for at least the first few miles, so I wasn’t on my own.
The race itself is fast and flat apart from two tiny hills at the beginning, which they then take, away and double in size in time for people coming back on the return leg. The marshalls are amazing and so supportive. Harriet who I was running with said thank you to everyone and I soon started joining in this, adding to the enjoyment. I knew we had set off pretty quickly as I could see other Striders near me who I know are speedy people but I felt fine and the chat was good so was happy to keep it up for a while. My inner voice started at about mile 3 where I was worried I was holding Harriet up and encouraged her to run on. She, in turn, tried to encourage me to leave her and run on which settled my anxiety for the next few miles. A quick stop for water seemed to settle my breathing too and the next few miles flew-by still feeling strong. I did see the main clock at the halfway point and knew we were going well but didn’t give it any further thought. The second half is always harder anyway, and no matter what time you get in they give you a lovely T-Shirt.
Mile 9 onwards became harder but still manageable. I had no idea what speed we were going but had a sense we must have slowed, as I was still feeling okay. The gap between us and the Striders ladies in front wasn’t growing though, so who knows. By now we were onto a very interesting discussion about veganism so there wasn’t much time to ponder it further.
At about 11.5 miles Harriet fell a couple of meters behind me and encouraged me to go on. I really struggled with this as we had run so far together and I knew that the main reason I was feeling good was that of the support she had given me. I also knew though that I would have wanted her to go on if she could have and that by that point we were both clearly going to finish so I did push on and sped up a little.
It was really hard work now but my training was paying off as I did still have something to give. With just under half a mile to go, I finally decided to look at my watch. I couldn’t believe the time and nearly started crying right there in the street. With the distance left it was looking pretty certain that I’d be under 2 hours. A barrier I never thought I would be able to achieve. Turning into the racecourse and hitting the worst headwind of the day wasn’t enough to stop the joy at this point and I crossed the line in 1:56:57.
Looking at my splits now I can’t believe how strong and consistent we were. I know for a fact I wouldn’t have let myself go that fast if I had been looking at my watch. I’m utterly over the moon with how it went, thoroughly grateful to Harriet and all the other Striders support we got on the way around and maybe, just maybe, have a little more belief in myself. I’m still not calling myself a runner though… 😉
|Pos.||Finish time||Chip time||Participant||Category||Pace|
|1 Male||1:09:44||1:09:42||Adrian Bailes|
|1 Female||1:14:58||1:14:57||Becky Briggs|
CITY OF HULL AC
|14||01:13:26||01:13:24||Stephen Jackson||(M) V35||5:36 min/mile|
|34||01:16:15||01:16:13||Gareth Pritchard||(M) V35||5:49 min/mile|
|49||01:17:29||01:17:27||Michael Mason||(M) V40||5:54 min/mile|
|71||01:19:22||01:19:18||Graeme Watt||(M) V40||6:03 min/mile|
|100||01:20:58||01:20:54||Michael Littlewood||(M) V40||6:10 min/mile|
|187||01:25:09||01:25:04||Stuart Scott||(M) V35||6:30 min/mile|
|201||01:26:14||01:26:07||Matthew Archer||(M) V35||6:35 min/mile|
|221||01:26:58||01:26:48||Barrie Kirtley||(M) Open Senior||6:38 min/mile|
|227||01:27:09||01:26:58||Allan Renwick||(M) V50||6:39 min/mile|
|300||01:29:33||01:29:20||Andrew Hopkins||(M) V40||6:50 min/mile|
|322||01:30:32||01:30:20||Rory Whaling||(M) V45||6:54 min/mile|
|382||01:33:49||01:33:14||Juan Corbacho Anton||(M) V35||7:09 min/mile|
|435||01:35:44||01:35:20||Michael Anderson||(M) Open Senior||7:18 min/mile|
|495||01:38:16||01:37:38||Mark Payne||(M) V35||7:30 min/mile|
|506||01:38:25||01:37:53||Andrew Davies||(M) V40||7:30 min/mile|
|530||01:39:19||01:38:57||Sarah Davies||(F) V50||7:34 min/mile|
|534||01:39:36||01:38:58||Natalie Bell||(F) Open Senior||7:36 min/mile|
|561||01:40:24||01:39:49||Louise Morton||(F) V35||7:39 min/mile|
|701||01:44:39||01:43:39||Clare Wood||(F) V40||7:59 min/mile|
|752||01:46:12||01:45:29||Peter Hart||(M) V40||8:06 min/mile|
|753||01:46:15||01:46:15||Chris Shearsmith||(M) V40||8:06 min/mile|
|754||01:46:16||01:45:32||Mark Foster||(M) V40||8:06 min/mile|
|774||01:47:06||01:46:07||Corrine Whaling||(F) V35||8:10 min/mile|
|784||01:47:17||01:46:33||Matthew Carr||(M) V40||8:11 min/mile|
|802||01:47:48||01:47:03||Nick Latham||(M) V45||8:13 min/mile|
|940||01:52:18||01:51:42||Mick Davis||(M) V45||8:34 min/mile|
|953||01:52:39||01:51:40||Roz Layton||(F) V65||8:35 min/mile|
|974||01:53:28||01:52:21||Helen Parker||(F) V40||8:39 min/mile|
|997||01:54:16||01:53:15||Sue Gardham||(F) V40||8:43 min/mile|
|1060||01:56:40||01:55:33||Trevor Chaytor||(M) V55||8:54 min/mile|
|1090||01:57:39||01:56:28||Anna Seeley||(F) V35||8:58 min/mile|
|1116||01:58:24||01:56:57||Joanne Robertson||(F) V35||9:02 min/mile|
|1128||01:58:52||01:57:01||Louise Barrow||(F) V35||9:04 min/mile|
|1158||02:00:19||01:59:13||Lisa Sample||(F) V35||9:11 min/mile|
|1191||02:01:38||02:00:11||Joanne Patterson||(F) V35||9:17 min/mile|
|1272||02:05:55||02:05:55||Adam Bent||(M) V65||9:36 min/mile|
|1294||02:07:11||02:06:05||Carolyn Galula||(F) V45||9:42 min/mile|
|1303||02:07:27||02:06:20||Wendy Littlewood||(F) V40||9:43 min/mile|
|1324||02:08:59||02:07:32||Rachel Coy||(F) V35||9:50 min/mile|
|1340||02:09:42||02:09:42||Alan Smith||(M) V70||9:54 min/mile|
|1354||02:11:01||02:09:00||Kimberley Wilson||(F) Open Senior||10:00 min/mile|
|1356||02:11:02||02:09:02||Robin Linton||(M) Open Senior||10:00 min/mile|
|1533||02:33:04||02:33:04||Sophie Dennis||(F) Open Senior||11:41 min/mile|
|1536||02:35:09||02:33:04||Catherine Smith||(F) V40||11:50 min/mile|
|1537||02:35:09||02:33:04||Kerry Barnett||(F) V45||11:50 min/mile|
|1550||02:43:52||02:41:56||Anne-marie Fisher||(F) V35||12:30 min/mile|