Despite this race being over a week ago now I thought I would provide a short report nevertheless if nothing else to keep a record of my slowest half marathon to date!
Of course there is a good reason for that, in that my 50 mile effort was only a week prior to this so I certainly wasn't racing. I decided at the last moment that I wanted to do this so drove down on the Sunday morning to MK to see if I could register on the day. I paid my £25 and I was all set.
I always knew that this wasn't a race for me hence I'd already set in my mind that I wanted to keep to a steady pace of around 10 minute miles. It was nice to mill around on the start line at the back of the pack with my own thoughts for company, as others around me talked frantically about their race strategy. I absorbed the energy around me, and the little sun that was trying to shine through the clouds as the hooter went to signal the start. And as always happens with start crowds of this size nothing actually happens (especially at the back) for a good minute or two before you are actually going.
The route was described as rural. Well there are obviously different grades of rural depending on where you are. This was Milton Keynes so my expectation were very low (not unfairly so for this concrete jungle of a city). However I was very pleasantly surprised as the course wound its way along the cycle greenways that circle MK. As can be seen from the route image above... but look closer... does it not strike an uncanny resemblence of our shores - GB! weird.
Anyway as planned and with the aid of my garmin 305 I stuck to my race plan and averaged around 10 minute miling for the first 10 miles. Whilst this was an easy pace (and the same pace that I run much of the 50 miler the previous weekend) I could still feel that race in my legs, and I had no want to go any faster. Well not until after the 10 mile mark anyway.
In the last 3 miles I upped my pace looking for around a 2hr finish time (my PB for this distance is 1:32). Its always nice to past runners in a race and this was no exception. And as I thought I was on the final home straight with the finishing arch ahead of me I made a dash for the line only to find out that the course actually continued around the back of the school building and on the field where it doubled back on itself. A bit strange and caught me off guard slightly. For someone else who perhaps was on their last legs and giving it all they had only to have to run another 300 metres was probably quite a shock.
Anyway with the 300 'extra' metres run I finish in a time of 2:02.05 (official chip time). An enjoyable race which in my local city and supporting such a great cause as the NSPCC is cause to come back next year and have a proper go at my PB.