Monday, 19 August 2013

Silloth on Solway Beach Half Marathon

Sunday afternoon saw me toeing the line with about 80 others for the first running of this race.  As all, apart from about a half a mile at the beginning and the end of this race is on the beach I was not expecting a fast time but rather a test of strength and endurance, and so it proved to be.

This is an out and back race and a very stiff headwind for the first half of the race only added to the difficulty.  Starting a little to fast I relinquished the lead just before we hit the beach.  Trying to shelter behind a Derwent runner who was running a short relay leg (a team relay being held in conjunction with the half marathon) I yo - yo'ed between 2nd and 5th place for the first two miles before establishing myself in an isolated 3rd place for the next two miles.

But I was struggling in the wind and with the terrain and as a result, just after the 4th mile I was caught and passed by two runners who quickly opened up a gap as I floundered in an area of soft sand.  From then on it was a lonely and isolated run for the next 9 or so miles.  Although I did catch and pass the Derwent AC 3rd leg relay runner at around about 8 miles.

The outward leg seemed to go on forever and a glance at my watch at half way came as a shock as it  confirmed the feeling that this was taking an awful long time - 58 minutes!!!!!

Feeling that I was going to be lucky to break the 2 hour mark I turned and thankfully with the wind on my back, began to pick up the pace a little.  Maintaining my position to finish in 5th position in a time of 1.45.32.  This was definitely one of the toughest races I have ran.

I have not been able to find any official results, but I believe the race was won by Howard Seal, I think of Derwent AC, in just under 1hr 30mins.

Following the race my right knee was very sore and swollen, so unfortunately a couple of very easy days are on the cards.

Pictures by Francesca

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