I started my race from the back following Dave (Pacer 2:30), as I have not trained for this and it was my first half marathon. I have participated last year as a Marshall, but I was posted at the beginning of the race, so I have had very little idea of what to expect. As usual my old friends from Ealing Eagles where involved in most of all the organising bits of the race, some of them as marshall , while other where taking part in the race as pacers.
I think the start was slightly delayed, or it seemed like that to those waiting at behind the Pacers 2:30. Most of us at our first half marathon, worrying more of finishing the race than focusing on the actual timing. Forget to mention that this edition had more then 6500 people at the start, 1000 more the 2014 one.
Anyway let me get back to the actual race. I started at a slow pace keeping up with the 2:30 Pacers’ group, I’ve had to give up on my phone passing it to my wife while passing around my house. After that I felt like I could increase my pace, so I started chasing. Sooner then I was expected I was going to find myself behind 2:20 Pacer Group. At that stage I was enjoying so and felt no pain yet. No idea that the hard bit was about to come later on.
With the 2:20 group already behind me I went pushing myself harder, as most people in front of me were going at slower pace then I was. By then I was already passing 10 km, and I was feeling slight pain in my legs, as I was not fully recovered from a football enjury. However I was keen on going after Pacer 2:10, as I felt that I might aim to finish in less then two hours. Had no idea that my left was going to let me down later on.
After sometime I have finally managed to catch the 2:10 group, I pushed even harder towards the 2:10 flag , took me a while but I have made it, unfortunnaly the pain was going stronger and stronger. At some point it was so bad that I was tempted of giving up, but after you have already run more then 10 miles, would be a shame to put and end to all those efforts. I might have annoyed some of the racers as I was letting out strange sounds.
I did wonder if the guy who draw the race map, really run through it as some of the hills proved to be a bit stip. I also think that the race could use a few more water stations. By the way I think I was the most wet athlete in the race as I end up throwing most of the water on my head and face, while I was trying to hydrate myself as much as possible.
After some real struggle I started loosing time and tempo, as I my left knee decided it had enough. That leaves a serious question mark on any attempt of doing the London marathon one day. I finished the race dragging my body towards the finish line. At the end I was happy that I achieved my goal to pass the finish line, but somehow disappointed that I did not finish in less then 2 hours. (just for the number lovers I have finished 3431, with the personal time of 02:07:57. ). After all it was a painful pleasure to have run ‘The Best Half Marathon”.