Date: Sunday 22nd June 11:15am
Description: Another very special day. Another special race. June 22nd. Two years ago today. And I’m looking down on the slope we scrambled up, from the spot on top where you took my picture and brought cold pizza. Glastonbury Tor in the distance, where we made silly faces. The race, where I beat you last year.
Well, not quite the same race. It’s a shame it’s two laps of the 10k route. I’d much prefer to compare myself running this now with no gels, to that amazing race last year. My first half marathon and my first time ahead.
But it is scorching hot. I have a CamelBak, but I still want to make it around without dying. Again, we’ve got a lift here with SRC, so the support is great. Fantastic team spirit. Once we start, I manage to stay with one guy who I know is a little faster. But I overtake on the technical downhill, that feels great and totally focus. Then I go a bit steadier on the Velvet Bottom section, just trying to keep a reasonable pace but not too fast. The hell steps are tough. It’s knackering. I get to the end of the first lap, and so want to switch to the 10k to finish. But no, down into the woods we go. Quite nostalgic, as this was the place last year where I knew I had a win in the bag, so long as I didn’t go arse over tit. The finish last year is now all over grown and dry looking.
Then came the worse bit. The near vertical slog back up to the start. This was no longer a race, but a slow snail’s paced climb up. Passing on to the second lap, I was not looking forward to it. I got a bottle of water, to help cool me down a bit. I feel so much slower going over the field for the second time. I’m not as fast going down the hill as I was. And Velvet Bottom seems even longer. But I’m surprised that as I get to the turning point, it seems close. Only a few more k to go. I perk up a little bit, and enjoy it again up until the hell steps. But I manage to keep up with a woman there, and I desperately don’t want to be over taken by the people behind me. Only 1 or 2 k to go and it’s 2 hours. Not bad. If only I can beat 2:13 I’d be happy. But the last bit takes even longer and slower than hoped. Great support from SRC as I come in to the final loop round. I overtake the woman, and feel a bit guilty about finishing a head, but I’ve got the pace and want the time.
It’s a whisker under 2:15, which I’m fairly happy about. I’m even happier its finally over. It was much hotter than last year, and a different circuit, so not really comparable. Could I do my time last year without gels? Possibly. But I’ll never know for sure this year, as it’s the marathon in two months, and that’s a whole different ball game which I’m not looking forward to!