Nottingham Half Marathon
2 x ½ = 1
(or subtitled: 2 Half Marathons make a fool)
Time to focus I thought. I had returned
Well, 27 minutes and 35 seconds
later when I passed the three mile mark feeling really rather shabby I realised
what could possibly go wrong. Somewhere in the masses of the Nottingham Half
Bren and Mitch were probably in front of me – although the last telephone
conversation I had with Bren indicated that he was more likely to be having a
pub lunch in Barnsley as he had been diverted off the M1 tat morning. However,
even my alcohol drenched mind was at this stage beginning to warn me that I was
in serious danger of running a 2 hour half marathon – something I had never
done before (even at the end of half Ironman) so having kicked myself up the
backside, at least mentally, I swung
into action. With a frenetic burst of activity, I surged ahead and found myself
overtaking people left, right and centre. I fell into a rhythm with another
triathlete (she was from
Having actually enjoyed the day, in a slightly strange and perverse manner, Bren’s comment of “I have a couple of numbers for the Great North next weekend” was greeted with an enthusiastic cry of agreement. However, one thing I thought was that I had learned my lesson, and wouldn’t be having a skin full of wine and racing with a hangover.
Therefore, one week later I stood
on the startline of the Great North having had a skinfull of Guiness the night
before and feeling rather sorry for myself. I say I stood on the start line –
that is actually not strictly true, I was in fact standing about half a mile
behind the start looking at c. 20000 people in front of me along with a
selection of various farmyard animals, squaddies a Royal Navy officer in full
number ones, a pantomime horse and a gorilla. Strangely apt that the gorilla is
here I thought as my mouth tasted like a gorilla’s armpit. However,
the gun fired, the horn blew or at least something happened to start and the
one thing that did not happen was movement. It took approximately 22 minutes
for me to cross the start line (the bright side was that the hangover was
beginning to clear). As I progressed along the route of the Great North Run, I
hesitate to say that I ran, there were many things I noticed. Firstly, a
guiness hangover is better for running with than one from red wine. Secondly, this
was not a run, but more of a crab like side to side shuffle, where I went 10 m
across for every 100 m forward. Thirdly, there were people reduced to walking
in the first mile. It really begs the question, of what did many of these folk
think they were coming to do? A sponsored walk perhaps? A Sunday morning stroll
on the roads of
Those striders of longer years,
and with less interesting things than reading my race reports to do (you’ve
started now, so don’t pretend you actually have something better in the diary),
may remember my report on the Leicester Marathon. It was an exercise in poetic
license, exaggeration and wild fabrication so
it will come as no surprise that I stood on the marathon start line looking up
a hill. Alas, the hill I was looking at was not in Leicestershire, it was in
Nant Peris; the marathon was not Leicester, but Snowdonia. It turns out that
the date of the
What is it about marathons that the organizers seem to take a perverse pleasure in making you run away from the end of the race? In this case it was doubly mean as it made you run past Pete’s Eats twice! However a cry of support from Steve Webb (I owe you big beers at the Christmas party for this Steve) and I was heartened enough to make an almost sprint for the line, which I passed in 3:50ish in 225th place. I have to say, I felt good.
Despite the weather, this was a fantastic race and I will definitely do it again. There was a really sporting attitude amongst everyone. I really recommend it. The winning time this year was and there were 80% less people ran the race in in sub-three hours. I look forwards to doing it again in 2006 and hope to break the horizontal rain in Llanberis curse that has afflicted me on two racing occasions.
 And by some miracle of the author’s dark literary art, got compensation from Lufthansa!!!!!!
 Well, it would be fairer to say that I lurched into action. Anything that was swinging at is best left to the imagination*.
* Well, actually it is best left out of the imagination as the imagination is often more frightening than real life – although possibly not in this case.
 Enthusiasm was one word that could not be used to describe the resulting sound. Dread, horror, anguish, all would be better descriptions of the sound I made which could be described as something akin to a spasmodic frog with hiccups.
 This was a colloquialism I picked up from a friend many years ago and not an admission of ever tasting a gorilla’s armpit. In fact I found it vaguely worrying that anyone new what a gorilla’s armpit actually tasted like. Look on the bright side it could have been worse.
 Of course getting the T-shirt was even easier on this occasion as I didn’t even have to fill in the entry form. I hoped the original owner would be happy with his time and didn’t have any major medical problems that were on file should the heat get to me (and before Bob Jackson asks, yes, I did check that I wasn’t going to be giving away by not running with a sports bra on**)
** that’s normally just on Mondays.
 Perhaps using my hands is what I have been doing wrong all these years.
 A bit like my last science article really.
of even longer memory will remember my race report of Half Ironman
 In fact the horn did not blow as such is kind of went “pharppppp” as it had obviously become somewhat waterlogged as we waited in the rain and the wind.
 You may at this point be somewhat unclear about what I mean. I mean I was running fluidly, not that the race report bullsh$t machine is now running smoothly***
*** which of course is also true.
 Even Matt had to admit that hill training was a problem for his club. Every so often when someone discussed hill sessions they would take out a photo of one and have a look at it, and mutter things like “thank God there’s nothing like that around here….”
 Of course if by rocket science you are talking about NASA this might actually mean that you are not talking about miles and inches but km and centimetres – even if you are not aware that you are talking about miles and inches. Or should that be micrometers and, oh never mind…
 Anyone who has seen me in the water would realise that this is a wildly optimistic description. What I actually mean is I was glad I could thrash about ineffectually in the water. My ploy with swimming is this – put so much kinetic energy into the water that you make it evaporate. You can then run along the lake bed.
 To be fair however I felt good for the rest of Sunday. I did all the right things in terms of stretching and so on, but come Tuesday the long descent left me incapable of walking downstairs and was reduced to using the lift at work.