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.