I was only a little disappointed when the Selsdon half marathon was cancelled three weeks ago, it was raining and cold, which isn't much fun over 13 miles.
The organiser emailed offering a choice: run in 3 weeks, or defer to 2014. I procrastinated. I haven't been running as much as usual - was I fit enough ? I did the Trail man Human Race event last weekend. That 8 mile slog through the mud left me exhausted. I did a little local loop through the park with DD earlier in the week, and that was the whole of my prep.
Still, last night I dug out the kit, the trainers, the Garmin watch, the CompressSport supports, the gels, I even dug out my i-Pod thinking I was going to need every available prop, and had it all set up and ready to go. And so we went.
And what a day it was, firstly it was dry. Yippee! Also, ever so slightly sunny, but cool enough for a good run. The event is organised by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, and the Start and Finish is in their beautiful premises. Since many runners had deferred to next year, I think there were more marshalls than actual runners. One of the marshalls came up and spoke to us, and was really very, very friendly. As was the man who gave me my race number.
The course was varied some hills, followed by nice down hills, but mostly flat and mainly through the streets of South Croydon. Although, sometimes we went through some dirt/mud tracks. I started well, with the first 6 miles under my belt in about 55 mins.
I took a gel whenever there was a water stop - so that was at 4.5 miles, 9 miles and 11 miles. That strategy worked well today. I overtook some runners on the second half and had a few 'battles' with some runners too. You know how it is when someone runs at almost exactly the same speed as you, and you take it in turns to try and outrun each other. In the end I focussed on my own race, which is all that really matters.
I crossed the line in 2:01:58 and that '58' is really important as I've already run a 2:02 half marathon, although the poor girl next to me thought that I was going for a sprint finish. Nah, it was all about me getting a PB.
BB and CC were there to support me and said I was about 6th woman, but I'll have to see what the final results say. Actually, I was 9th woman - results are out already!!. Still.. pretty happy with that ! I was 45th out of 71 runners, which includes males and females. Counting up the numbers, it seems that out of that, there were another 11 females and 15 males that finished after me.
The goodie bag was pretty good too - with a medal, banana, water, little chocolate bar and non-wicking, cotton t-shirt. Everything you need, really !
All in all an excellent, well organised race. Well done Selsdon half marathon. BB has already pledged to run it next year!
Here's a photo of me at the end - utterly exhausted.