Posted: 23/03/2015 at 12:21
As promised the race report from yesterday's run.
Having run the Hanover Airport Run this time last year, I set off for Hanover Airport, confident that I was going to the right start location. My friends who were running with me hadn't looked on the website to see where the start was as they assumed I knew...and I'd assumed it was at the airport...as it was last year. Anyway, we arrived at the airport to see no sign of any runners or any race. After an emergency panicked phone call to my better half, we established that we could still make the start, by jumping back on the train we'd just got off (luckily we were at the end of the line and it hadn't started it's return journey yet). 30 minutes before the start, with no signs to help us we finally found the race HQ. The 5 km was running late, so our half marathon was set to start 10 minutes later than scheduled. The weather was good, cold but sunny, with a stiff wind that I was hoping wasn't going to cause problems later in the race. The gun went and we shuffled towards the starting line. Then we were off. I was aiming for under 2 hours, so needed 5:41 min/km. Set off at a comfortable pace, 5:30 for the 1st km, ok need to slow down a bit, then 5:15 for the second, really need to slow down a bit! Got to the first water station and decided to grab some water, so walked 2 paces and carried on. By then, my friends, who were aiming for 2:10 were pulling ahead of me, and I decided not to try and keep up with them. I didn't want to overdo it in the first half, then pay for it later. The race covers a very scenic route, with off road, cobbled and mole-hilly sections. I got through the 1st 5 km in 27:15, a post accident pb. Really need to slow down now, I'm never going to be able to keep this up. Grabbed a bit more water and walked a few more steps. Was feeling good though, and decided to play a little game to see if I could catch up some of the people in front of me. Picked up the pace until I'd overtaken 5 people. The running was good with the wind behind me, and I was running between 5:15 and 5:30 pace. Then stuck with the 5th person I'd caught up until we turned a corner then started it all over again. By the time we'd reached the 10 km mark (55 min, 10km post accident pb) I was feeling good, but knew I'd need to take a gel soon. There was a water stop there, and I knew we were running out and back along this stretch (about 2.5 km there and back), so decided to take my gel at the turning point, then I could grab some water when I ran back past the water point. I was flagging now, but hoping the gel would help. Took the gel, now all I need is some water, oh the water point is 100 m in front of me...and they'd run out of water. This was at around 13 km. The wind was now very strongly in my face, plus it was slightly up hill. I really needed some water. At 15 km (1:24) there was another water point. I asked if they had any water, and they said no, we've run out. I grabbed some watermelon, anything to give me some liquid, and had to walk for half a minute or so to eat it. Then I pushed on. I realised that in order to finish under 2 hours, I needed to do each km in 6 minutes. I was really flagging by this point, with lack of water and my bad leg had completely given out. But 6.1 km isn't that far, is it? So km 16 in 5:30, then 17-19 went quickly enough (with one narrow section, 2 runners wide with horse riders coming the other way!), then back over the motorway and I knew the end was near. To the left, I could see the street that the finish was on, nearly there, but they sent us right. This was pretty demoralising at this point, a 1 km loop then back along the finishing stretch.