Friday, 22 May 2015

My 100 Races - Blog 3 of 5 - The Half Marathons

This is where my running started back in the summer of 2009. Newly engaged to my now wife of 5 years I ran my first race, the Southend Half Marathon on 14th June 2009. Having watched the London Marathon I looked for a local race and found the Southend HM in just 6 weeks time. I managed a longest run of 5 miles before the big event and paid big time! Crawling round the 2nd half and so finishing in 2:17.

I applied myself a little better before my 2nd HM at Bristol and managed 2:08. My brother Luke and friend Pete both ran well at this. Lauren and I enjoyed this race, with the ideal hotel location and the course was a good one.

Next we visited Cardiff and I managed to shave plenty off my PB here as I ran just under 1:51. My first look at the city, and definitely somewhere I'd like to return to. The race has got a bit big now, so not sure I'll run it again.

More time came off the PB at the Great Bentley HM, my 4th Half and a time of 1:39. A good club race, on quiet country roads, and not many crowds which suits me well. Return to this race again and will continue to do so.

My 5th HM was the first where I didn't PB. This was at Bath, a very pleasant weekend and a good course but I just wasn't firing and walked for parts and came home in a time of 1:42.

2010 and I'm back at Southend for my 6th HM and my second at Southend. Ran with my arm in a plaster cast, in roasting hot conditions as is tradition for this race.

Bristol HM the return and a new PB of 1:36. Always loved.

Great North Run. My first go at the Great North. Only two weeks after Bristol and so could only manage 1:40.

Into 2011 and a 2nd Great Bentley running another PB. 1:35. The big time gains are long gone!

HM number 10 was the rearranged Norwich HM. Was meant to happen in the autumn of 2010 but due to the snow it didn't happen until the spring of 2011. I ran a PB of 1:34 whilst Ross ran his own PB of 1:19! Another world!

Southend HM number 3 and the PB's continue to flow, 1:32. My IT Band decided to give up 3 steps after the line, so I hobbled around for an age until I gave my Sister a ring to come up and rescue me.

Bristol HM number 3. Pete came and found me about 3 miles in and we then ran 10 miles together, he really pushed me on and we ran 1:33. Such a lot of fun even though a PB wasn't forthcoming. Felt really strong though.

A week later I ran the Great North Run and achieved a PB, and still my PB 1:30:05. I wasn't unhappy at not going sub 1:30. I was getting faster and faster. The PB's would keep coming.... Wouldn't they?

Southend HM 2012 my 4th running of it and a very disappointing 1:58 with Luke. I had run the two Oceans this year and Luke and I had run really badly at Edinburgh Marathon a month before. I don't think my body had recovered, so we just trudged around the 2nd half.

Silverstone HM in 2013 was 1:44. More than a minute a mile off my PB, but a pleasing run given the shape I was in at the time. Luke ran well at this race, and I will definitely return to this race. Half Marathon number 15 done.

Southend HM 2013 my 5th successive running of it. 1:43. Warm. Not too much else to report.

Great North Run number 3 and a pleasing run of 1:39. My times coming back down from the nightmare of the 1:58.

16.02.2014 was my 30th Birthday and what better way to spend it than running a HM in Barcelona with friends and family. Ross and Luke both ran well. I wasn't very fit so decided to run it with my Dad for his first HM. We avoided the sweeper and made it round in 2:41. Massive achievement!

Southend HM done once more in 2014 my 6th running of it and 19th overall. A disappointing 1:52.

Back to Great Bentley for number 20 and very happy to run 1:35. My fastest run since Sept 2011 when I ran my PB. Feel in good shape in 2015 and may sneak a HM PB before the end of the year. If not, I would hope to break 1:30 in 2016.

So there you have it. 20 very enjoyable Half Marathon's. A really good distance, a good challenging 1:30 - 2 hours of effort and my favourite distance by far. Tomorrow I'll talk you through my 10 Marathon's.

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