Posted: 09/03/2014 at 15:00
Hot on the heels of SB's post!
Had made a mental note of SB's number but with 5,000 people there I wasn't expecting to see him so sat down on a bank about 45 mins before the start and there he was! Always strange to go up to a complete stranger and as whether they are a Sporty Badger, but fortunately he was and a fine chap to boot - good to chat for a while before getting into warm-up mode.
Wasn't really expecting to get close to my Gosport time but hoping for something between 1:27 and 1:28 with the latter as my Jantastic prediction. Very much ran to feel with just a watch as my Garmin is still being fixed.
As SB said it was a bit congested at the start so I wasn't expecting a quick first mile so was surprised to get the mile marker with 6:20 on the watch - time to ease off a bit! Past elder Lorenzito's brass band at the 5 mile mark and got a cheers from them which felt good, especially as there was a slight incline coming up.
Got to 10K in 40:40 which with hindsight was still a bit too quick but I felt OK so there were a few "what the hell" thoughts going through my head, coupled with a "could I get a PB?" thought.
Hit a tough patch around mile 8 shortly after taking a gel and I suspect I slowed up quite a bit, but fortunately the feeling passed and I tried to push on. I'd mentally divided the race up into 4 3 mile chunks plus a bit of change, so I focused on getting to 12 miles in a decent time and seeing what was left.
Fortunately the last swing into the sports stadium in Guildford was downhill and I hit the track for the last 300m knowing that sub 1:28 was in the bag, then had a great tustle with an American girl (instigated by her I should stress!) which gave me a burst for the last 100m or so.
Anyway, ended up with a gun time of 1:27:26 and a chip time of 1:27:13 which I'm very pleased with. Second fastest half (and a higher WAVA than my PB) and bodes very well for London as Macmillan is predicting a sub 3:05 on that basis. And my toenail is still attached to the toe!
Had another catch up with SB at the end who was looking very strong when he crossed the line and I'm in no doubt that he'll hit the target down at Brighton in a few weeks time.
Edit: well done to PMJ - sounds like you had to dig deep at the end there.
Now, with the rugby about to start, where's that beer?