Posted: 02/10/2016 at 20:42
Ok, so I'm in bed listening to the Ryder Cup and am ready for the report.
No dramas on the flight over, checked into my hotel and picked up my number. Tootled into town for a customary night-before pizza then back to the hotel early to rest.
Up at 0600 followed by flapjack, 2 x banana and some coffee - felt ok but not great.
Got to the start at 0830 (0900 start) and did the usual pre race necessities. There were 5 x sub 2:20 runners (3 x Kenyan, 1 x Russian and 1 x USA) and then two UK guys with slightly better PBs than me.
Set off at a sensible pace and was quickly presented (less than half a mile in) with a big decision - the two UK guys were 50m ahead but there was nobody close behind. I decided to catch them up and take it from there. Caught them at about 1.5 miles and one of them disappered up the road, never to be seen again! The Bournemouth guy and I had a bit of a chat and settled in. Previously I've run the first half of marathons to a HR limit of 160 but my resting HR has been much higher recently (36 vs 43) so wasn't really sure where to peg the limit and ultimately went more by feel.
The course climbs gently from 2-3 and then steeper from 3-5. I stayed with the B'mouth guy until four miles but let him go as the effort level climbed and my HR spiked to 171.
I ran 4-7 solomand settled into to a more sensible rhythm. Went through 5 miles in 30:30 (2:39 pace) and felt ok. At 7 miles I heard someone catching me and was very pleased! Slowed a touch to let him catch me then tucked in behind. He was from Jersey and got loads of support around the course which was cool. We stayed together and went through 10 miles in 60:40, meaning 30:10 for the second five.
I didn't feel great but we were clicking off sub 6 miles. Got to halfway in 1:18:40 and thought about whether to carry out my normal acceleration or just stay tucked in. Felt good enough to go for it and knocked out a couple of 5:50s. There was no 15 mile marker so didn't get a time but looking at Strava it was around 29:30 for the five miles.
Around 15 I got sight of the B'mouth guy and concentrated on reeling him in. A very fast downhill 18th mile (5:37) got me on his tail and I tucked in again. I knew there was a climb from 19-21 so wanted some company for that. It turned out to be more of a gentle climb so I went past at 20m (29:30 again for the 5) and concentrated on the final push.
22nd mile was a big downhill and went really hard for a 5:36 which turned out to be a mistake!! Hit the seafront at 23 and started to wobble. Last three were 6:06, 6:06 and 6:16 so not a total collapse but painful nonetheless. Crossed the line in 2:37:28 and felt tired but not in any real trouble apart from sore hamstrings - held on to the barrier for a second and started hyperventilating - never had it before and not being in control of my breathing was horrible. Only lasted 30 secs and then I wobbled off to the relief of the lovely St Johns Ambulance people.
Pretty course but tough. Well organised and lots of lovely people.