Kilmacolm Half Marathon 14 Sept 2014

So, you know how you have those AWFUL races – cough Paisley 10k cough – and those races where everything just sorta comes together….well on Sunday 14th September…. It just sort of worked…

I ran the Kilmacolm 10k last year, when I was just getting into running, and I did feel a bit awed by those doing the half, it was lovely to return a year later and take on the challenge. Me and my friend drove out early – probably too early, and picked up our race numbers, and waited for the race to begin.

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They were also setting up the BBQ …complete with veggie sausages for the Viking Runner 🙂

The race started promptly and off we went. The first mile takes you through the streets of Kilmacolm and is also the home stretch of this out and back race. Mile 2 is an incline along a country road then through another residential section. I worried I was taking this stretch too quickly but my legs felt strong so on I ploughed. My friend was a bit ahead of me (as I expected!) but settled into a place 100 or so yards in front with a group of other runners. Something went ‘ping’ in my right knee at the mile 2 marker but I did the sensible thing and ignored this completely.

By mile 3 we were on the cycle path which is the main section of the out and back for the Half marathon route, I felt a bit too hot in my tech tee and shorts but none the less I kept up my pace as I seemed to have plenty in my legs. It was overcast for once, after all the ‘hot’ races I’ve done over the summer so I felt comfortable. And overtook runners steadily.

Miles 4-6 were a blur along the cycle route, I could see the guy in first place streaming back towards me like a cat with his tail on fire, there was a HUGGGGE gap between him and the two guys in 2-3 place who were running together.

I had decided to experiment with gels during this race, and took one at mile 6. Immediately felt sick. I think it was SIS pink grapefruit, and had 2 jelly babies to get rid of the taste. Soon I could see the turning point for the course and runners turning around towards me, the gap between me and my pal lessened and she shouted GO ON GIRL as she passed me on the turn back point.

They had a water station here and for some reason I decided to take lucozade sport. Never EVER again. It was like some sort of citric acid bomb going off in my stomach. Right under my ribs pretty much exploded in a heartburn like pain but I felt a surge in my legs so pressed on. Overtook a lovely lady who told me I looked great for 7 miles in. I said thanks so much to her but in my head I was wishing a painful death on the guy who invented lucozade sport. A SAW like death in fact.

Miles 7-10 I felt great but then it started to fall a bit, I felt my pace slow, and my pal and the pack she was running with seemed to get further and further in front. I was still overtaking runners, but there was a girl in purple I simply could not pass. The mile markers were written on the cycle path, but I think the path had been used for a few different events as there seemed to be two mile 11’s?!

By mile 12, or what I assume was 12 due to the ground markings I was pretty much done. Legs gone, only willpower kept me going, purple girl seemed to zoom off into the distance and the run back into Kilmalcolm seemed to take forever. Suddenly I could hear the finish so forced myself to speed up a bit, the roads seemed to keep coming though. Then suddenly I saw the finish, got a burst of everything and SPRIIINTED!! Then immediately felt so so sick. First thought was ‘Loch ness marathon in two weeks – how can I do THAT for twice the distance?!’ Hobbled to the finishers area and got my chip removed, and saw my pal. A sweaty runner in pretty much a vest and pants accosted me (in a nice way!) asking my time, saying he had started and finished right behind me, I said sorry I don’t wear a watch. My friend said she had finished in 1.46 and I was about 90 seconds behind her. I had knocked loads off my PB. YAAAAY!

Due to a mechanical fault with the chip system, we didn’t get out results till the next day. I have to admit I was a bit ill waiting to hear if I had got 1.47 or 1.48…I actually made a deal with God saying I’d take the day off running and the gym classes I love if only he would give me a 1.47. In the end I got 1.47.57 which I am more than pleased with, as I do feel I could have run a bit harder between 2-6 miles., but didn’t want to go all out so early as my knee was sore.

All in all, it is a GREAT wee event and due to a half price offer – one I am definitely doing again in 2015!!!

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