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Farnborough half marathon 26th February 2020


Farnborough half marathon January 2020

After a long drive from Swindon in pissin down rain most of the way over the m4 I arrived at a council building carpark for today’s race. no idea of where I was going so I tagged along with a nice younger lady heading for the same place.
On arrival I was greeted by the remains of what looked like an old aircraft hanger..stuck in the middle of This almost town centre area. Really nice place to hold a race actually underneath this old metal structure. I have since found out it was a portable airship hangar used in the Second World War.
Nice calm atmosphere as I headed to pick up my bib in the cold morning air. Hung around a while waiting for my mate Jeff to arrive on the scene as we had planned to run together today. No sooner had we caught up with one another since we last met in Valencia and we were ready to hit the start line with everyone else. It was a bit of disorganised chaos I must say but we got to set off on time as we headed out from under the large structure and towards the airfield that surrounded most of the area .. we joked as we counted the small uphill sections and we managed to keep a steady pace for four miles at least. At this point I almost gave up the race.. my stomach was in pieces today .. the pain just hit me like a ton of bricks and it took all I could find to not simply turn back before hitting the five mile mark. We were headed out in the countryside by this point and I told jeff to head off without me.. I knew it was going to be tough from here on in.
The miles just dragged and dragged as I stumbled on the uphill bits and managed to pick up a little on the downhill sections, through the tree lined country lanes and down by either a canal or river..I really didn’t take much notice... I was intensely focussing on getting this race out of the way. At some point in the race there was a turning point out in the open and then we were heading back towards the airfield I think.
I must have stopped to walk twice in every mile, sometimes three ... it was that bad in my churning guts and then the Morton’s neuroma started aching as well.. I was wondering why the hell I run by now.But sheer determination not to finish must’ve kept me going as by mile 12 almost back at the start and finish line , I managed to keep going even though the bits of cobbled sections of the airfield roads were playing havoc with my feet. A lot of people were , like me stopping to walk over them.
Heading back in to the built up section around the middle of that last mile was heaven .. it was what I needed. I needed to see and hear that finish line .. it needed to draw and pull me towards it with all it could drag out from within me. I have no idea where the race went before this moment.. it’s mainly now a huge void in my brain.. but i can still see those supporters shouting and clapping in those last few hundred metres. A final tight left hand turn and there was the airship hangar again in front of me. The roads had again changed surfaces and it was slippy. Stewards were warning us to slow down bit u had a last splurge of energy to pass a few people that I’d chatted with along the way and they’d passed me. Minute or two earlier. Then a final tight right hand turn and ten metres or so to the line..another crazy road surface .. sloppiest I think I’ve known so far while racing, but I managed a Bit of a splurge and I was done.
Not my worst finish time of 02:08:04 but certainly one of the hardest races in a long while.
I’m sure it was down to me running 11 miles the day before and a combination of the wrong breakfast and lack of good sleep, mixed with the fact that I’d started keto that weekend before so my body is getting used to very low carbs which will drain energy fast.
But I did it ..
Nice friendly race.. nice course... great goody bag and free tea and cake at the end.. what more could one ask for.

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