Shona Taylor gives us a round up on her hlaf marathon at the days events in Blackpool:
My first half. According to my graphs – don’t laugh, I’m a scientist, I can’t help it! – I should be able to do 2,05 and possibly, if I was flying, 2hrs dead. So that was my target.
The start was bitterly cold hanging around under a concrete canopy by the stadium where I couldn’t get a signal so I started my watch outside. It was 10,15 when I crossed the mat and thereafter at the mile markers I was working out “if I’m on nine minute miles and I add on 10 then I should be at…”. Some guy at the finish said “Oh I didn’t bother to look at my watch” – I couldn’t do without it! Keeps you distracted from the steadily increasing pain if you’re trying to do arithmetic on what your next mark should be.
I got a bit over excited at starting and found I was doing eight minute miles so thought I’d better ease off or I’d blow but at least I knew I’d built up a bit of a buffer if I did slow down towards the end. Somewhere about 5 miles the hazy sun came through and shorts and short sleeves didn’t seem such a daft idea and by 6 I’d hit my target 9 minuters and stayed there ever after.
At mile 8 I made my first attempt (nothing like pre race preparation!) at in-run refuelling and had a jelly baby. Mile 11 took a bit longer coming than I would have liked and by the 12.5 point teeth were definitely gritted but the pace was holding.
Gary Wane cruised up just before I headed off for the finish his plan of steady just better than nine minute miles holding well for him too. I got 1:54:06 which was way better than expected and took two minutes out of a work colleague as an added bonus. Alison Cane did 2:04:41 and having gone twice as far Mr Wane finished with 3:54:52. Not a bad haul!