The plan was hatched at the beginning of the year to visit my brother in law Paul in Jersey and for us both to do the half marathon. Paul prefers the gym so was basically starting from scratch 5 months ago.
The race starts at an altitude of 330 ft then drops down to sea level over the first 2 miles with an unexpected sharp hill before looping back onto the sea front. Though tempted to fly down the first 2 miles I knew what was coming so kept the head and stuck to a sensible pace. The course kept to the flat sea front till the 6 mile point before it gradually rises again with a steep tilt before the 7.5 mile point, having driven this the day before it looked daunting but with the “Murder Hill” runs under my belt in the previous weeks I was surprised to hit the top before I knew it. Just before we turned onto the dirt track to take us to the highest point at 8 miles Paul decided to make his move and put a spurt on, I waited till I heard the marshal shout it’s all downhill from here then picked it up myself.
This section was 2 clear miles of downhill on an old railway track path it was a great feeling just letting go I must have overtaken about 30 people on that section running under 8mpm pace. At the bottom we come out of the tree cover and onto the flat promenade at the sea front with just 3 miles to go, I was still feeling good and still making up places but the sun was out now and it was very hot and humid with no cover so I just got my head down and visualised 3 miles from my home and ticked off the miles. At various points throughout the race Paul’s wife Katie and the kids were out to support us on their bikes which was a real boost, and with about a quarter of a mile to go when I was just about to flap in the heat Caroline jogged out to meet me and urged me to pick it up again which I did and overtook a few others who had been running in front of me on the promenade.
This race was a total contrast to the Alloa half a few months earlier where I struggled badly from halfway this time I was fitter and really enjoyed the whole race and ran 3 minutes faster, lesson learned don’t take your fitness for granted. Meanwhile Paul had finished his first ever race never mind half marathon nearly 2 minutes in front of me and done himself proud. Caroline and I have vowed to come back again next year to compete in what is a very enjoyable and very well organised race
The race was won by Bruno Francisco in 1hr 12 mins 29s , first female was Rebecca Tinnelly 1hr 35mins 31s ( Note Natalie Somerville )
Paul McArthur – 1 hr 51m 53s (218th)
Chris Hever – 1hr 53m 30s (230th) 498 finishers