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Severn bridge half marathon 16th August 2019



Arrived on a slightly cloudy early morning in Wales, traffic was lighter than expected so was in good spirit from the offset, that wasn’t to last though.
The start line was about a quarter of the way up the Severn bridge on the main carriageway, which had been closed off for the event.. it’s a great sight and a great feeling walking onto the bridge where usually only traffic is allowed. But for a few hours this morning it’s open just to us crazy runners who have all braved this bloody early start on what should be the day of rest.
The crowd is full of friendly Welsh people so stood around waiting for the off we weren’t stuck for conversations with anyone. The sky was cloudy and nice and cool for what we thought be in for the day.. boy were we wrong.
No sooner had the horn gone off for the start of the race it seemed like about three minutes before the skies cleared and we were showered with hot August sunshine. Usually we would welcome some sunshine but not at the start of a half marathon ... it’s the thing I dread most about running. Apart from my light sensitive eyes that hold that back, the hot sunshine always makes running feel like I’m carrying an extra person on my back. However I got off to a decent sub 8 minute mile starter which took us over the bridge and down into the villages close by. The course was really undulating and there was nowhere to get shade on this hot day .. the more I ran the more I felt drained and lethargic.. my legs were really heavy and I just wanted to stop and go back to bed .. especially at mile 7 when we were faced with a big fuck off hill to tackle in this heat... I wasn’t impressed by it one little bit. I sure wasn’t about to use up precious energy to run up it, so along with many others I walked up and was given a bit of respite on a bit of a downhill section just after.
For as many uphills we seemed to get some decent downhill sections to improve on again, as the race continued back towards the Severn bridge once again.
At the foot of the bridge the 10k crowd joined us on the footpath back over the bridge.. by this time they were getting ready to reopen it to the traffic once again.
The path was a bit tight with so many people on but it didn’t hold me back too much.. it was still red hot out there and I was doing all I could to keep myself going today.
My pace was crap, I felt like shit and I was sweating like a glassblowers arse but I managed to pick up a bit of pace again on that last bit of the bridge before we turned right at the end into a slight downhill section and into a tunnel under the road .. I wanted to stay in that tunnel..it was cool as a cucumber.. but alas I had a race to finish. After the nice downhill was the expected climb towards the finish line..again on narrow paths.. fighting with people to gain a bit of momentum as we all edged closer to the end.
At the top of the incline I could sense the finish line ahead and I was off .. as soon as it was in my sights I opened up my pace, picked up my speed and trawled through runners to get the crescendo I needed.
Today’s race was over.. it was a tough bitch to crack but I did .. the heat added to my time and my experience of the day.. I think if it had been cooler I wouldn’t have been bothered about the undulation and the big fuck off hill in the middle .. I’m also not too sure that doing a 21 mile run 4 days before the race was such a good idea now.. seemed good at the time but I think it added to my plight today.
Today was half marathon number 9 of the year and my challenge .. my times have been up and down due to injury,heat and many other things affecting my performance but today’s 02:06:23 wasn’t really that bad as far as my times go..could’ve been much worse.
I havnt been throwing myself into my races this year as I’ve been training for my first marathon in December so I’m not disappointed.. I came I finished I conquered ... that’s all we can ever do as runners.

 


 
 

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