Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Nike Run To The Beat Half Marathon Run Report

On sunday I ran the Nike Run To The Beat half marathon and boy did I enjoy myself! This was my second half marathon and I had a much better run for a number of reasons which I will go on to explain. Second time round I knew what to expect and was hoping to better my PB from my previous half (1.46.13) @ the Bath Half earlier in the year. Race Day; I turned up at 08:30am outside the O2 to meet the rest of RunDemCrew and the other London Run Clubs for a pre race chat and to plan our runs. A group of us decided that we would run at 1.45 and Charlie and Shameek agreed to pace us which was really reassuring considering how epic they both are and that I didn't have a watch on me! It was fucking freezing, the sort of morning where you would double up on everything and I noticed a large number of other runners had layered up and had their race tops on top of hoodys etc. I made sure I was layered up and warm enough before the race but wanted to make sure I didn't overheat during the race so actually ended up running in shorts, t shirt and arm warmers and was glad I did so as I saw so many runners stripping off later on. Everyone was in good spirits before the race and I was properly excited and knew then that it would be a rad day. This part of the day I find a bit annoying, I just want to get the race done and not have to worry about bag drop queues and toilet breaks and finding the right pens which always seems to take a while and isn't what you want to mess around doing before a race. Definitely always wise to turn up with plenty of time even if it is the coldest day of the year! So when we started to make our way to the bag drop Olivier saw the VIP tent and Charlie spoke to Chloe at the entrance and we got in (thanks so much to Nike and Chloe for this it was awesome hospitality!) From here we headed to the pens as a big crew along with the sub 2 hour crew with Dan, Beefy, Paul etc. When the race finally started it seemed a bit of a mess zig zagging through all the fences to the start line but we were away and the atmosphere was brilliant. It was amazing to run with the other guys in the crew, I'm used to running on my own including in races so to have lads I know and run with regularly pacing me was brilliant, I felt totally relaxed and tried to soak up as much of the event as possible. I totally recommend getting your name printed on the front of your top it is really uplifting when a stranger/girl shouts your name, depending on what stage of the race and how hurt you are it can really pick you up. First half of the race was quite slow due to the large numbers of runners on the road. There were about 5 of us in a group and we wanted to stick together so we were constantly weaving in and out of traffic for the first 5 miles. There was a lot of talk about the hills at RTTB and they are no joke, one of them in particular was brutal and there were a lot of brave people tackling it full on. Once we got the hills out of the way we started to make up time as we hadn't been running to our schedule. We began to bang out some nice negative splits, everyone felt good and we were making some decent progress. It was around this time that I noticed our man Shameek would give words of encouragement to some of the other runners on the road who were flagging or who had slowed down, this was amazing to see and was something that the rest of us all started to do. Not everyone was as lucky as us to run the race with friends so we tried to give us much help as we could to those individuals along the way. It felt great to give total strangers some encouragement and a little boost if only for a few metres.
The Cheer Dem Crew were located perfectly just after Greenwich park around mile 11 for a double pass. When we passed them the first time it lifted us all even more and gave us such a boost that Lee and myself managed to give a kick for the finish. This section of the race felt really good. It was flat and fast and we started running 7 minute miles and were absolutely flying for the line. It was a great way to end the race. I gave everything in the last split and averaged a 6.50 on the last mile burning up the road to cross the line in a new PB of 1.43.46! I felt brilliant crossing the line and I'm sure I could of gone quicker if it hadn't of been for the traffic in the early stages. It's nice to feel that you are making progress and it was much more enjoyable than my previous half marathon which I could barely move after. Roll on Paris in March for the next installment of the Bridge The Gap series, my 23rd birthday and hopefully a sub 1.40 time!
Huge thanks go out to all of RunDemCrew, Cheer Crew, Nike Running UK, the DON Charlie Dark, Shameek for pacing us and Olivier, Jammz and Lee for being awesome running partners.

No comments:

Total Pageviews