Pat and Pauline represented the club at the Wirral Half this weekend. This is their story:
It was a damp foggy morning at 7.45am when we left Orrell but the mist soon cleared and out came the sun. We got through the tunnel and ‘over the water’ or under it really, without any problems. We managed to park right near to Birkenhead Park and get inside in plenty of time for the start. After our warm up we headed to the 2hr 15 min pacer and waited to go.
What is it with these pacers? We fell foul in the Wigan 10k when the girl tried to polish us off before 2kms by running 5 min 15 sec kms when we were aiming for an hour finish time.
We set off to find again the lady was pacing at under 6 min kms. We then found out she was pacing the 10k event which started at the same time although she was holding a 2hr 15 min sign. She was aiming for under the hour which would have actually been a PB at 10k for Pat and me.
She told us there was a man pacing the Half Marathon immediately behind us so we dropped back a bit. He then said he had been told to run the same pace as the woman up to 10kms!!!
Have I lost the plot?. What’s the point of having two pacers for two separate distances but both running the first 10kms at 10k pace?? What happened to negative splits???
Pat and me can make a good job of messing up the pace by going too fast without any help!
Again we realised, so we dropped back and went at our own pace.
> It’s a beautiful course mainly along the seafront with lovely views – well, some tankers and oil refineries, but sea and sand also.
I chuckled to myself when Pat asked if it was where we ran the Liverpool Half Marathon!!! No I replied, we are over the water queen!!!
It was a fairly flat course but still hard and very warm. All was well planned with water stations and plenty of marshals. As we were approaching the 10k point the route split. Half Marathon runners to continue to the right and 10k runners towards the finish to the left. It crossed my mind to end it there but thought twice when they were announcing that runners would be disqualified if they cut it short without consulting the race officials, so we plodded on.
There was a Marshall though who didn’t know left from right and was really trying to get Pat and me off to the left and two foreign girls also. Even they had worked out that he had got it the wrong way round . He was almost pushing us to the 10k finish. Maybe it was an age thing and he thought these two oldies won’t be doing the half!!!
It seemed a long way to the 9mile point especially when the first finishers were streaking past towards the finish on the other side of the route . We turned around at this point and started heading back along a main road and then through a bit of woodland by a golf course. Eventually it joined back up onto the coastal path and back towards the finish. It was a bit precarious with some runners tripping on the pavement towards the end (my husband told us). We did a bit of a surge for the finish and crossed the line hand in hand, as usual, at 2hrs 16 mins which was a Half Marathon PB for me!! We were joint 6th in our age group.
I can’t say there was any pleasure in it until the end and I was thinking to myself ‘who’s idea was this and never again! – but it was only momentary!!!
We are already planning the next events and hopefully the Orrell OMG Marathon which has individual and team events over different distances on 28th December. Good way to work of the mince pies!
Thanks for reading and good luck to everyone in forthcoming runs. I’m off to Egypt on Tuesday!! See you all soon
Pauline and Pat