Since Stratford at the end of April I have been upto Chester in mid-May and in my home town Derby, completing 3 half marathons in just over 6 weeks.
Chester - 15th May
This was all ways going to be the easy one. The race where I knew I would have to take it easy, steady seeing a it is sitting in the middle of this busy period, Lucky thou, a friend was just getting back to running/training and asked me to keep them company during this race. This presented me with an ideal situation of keeping the pace steady.
This, as all ways, was a well organised event with loads of support on route. This year thou had a marked increase in the number of bands along the route playing tunes for the spectators, and the runners a like, keeping it a cheerful and fun atmosphere.
As we run round the course, we were joined by a young man called 'Deano' - running for MNDA in memory of his Gran, and asked if he could join us. We said, yep - so the 2 became 3! The 3 of us ran the 7 miles home, with me talking most of the time, acting as water boy - while the other 2 ran.
The finish is in the City centre, just in front of the Town Hall and not too far from the Cathedral. The finish area was packed as all 3 of us trotted over the line, in a steady (for me anyway), 2.02.02. A nice round time.
Ramathon: 4th June
The home half! Final preparations were hampered by a suspected strain and I had instructions from the physio to take it easy!
Well, errrrrr, I'll be honest. It last all of 0.1miles. Dont worry, physio has told me off! The morning was slightly overcast - near ideal for a good run. A new route took us through the city center, before we headed out in the countryside. A long 3mile stretch was so inviting to keep up the good even pace was there for the taking. It was warming up, but was still cloudy with a slight breeze, to keep us cool.
We then headed into Elvaston Country Park - an old estate that has been managed by Derbyshire CC for a number of years. The house has not been too well looked after, but the grounds are lovely - a mix of managed and natural areas, with paths. On a personal note, Celia is laid to rest in the estates Church grounds, so a very deep and personal run - not just as it is my home race. Running through the shaded areas was great, but coming out the estate and parklands, the sky had cleared and the sun was beaming through and the temperature was rising.
The 3mile run to the finish was mainly in the open, and I dont run well in the heat, and thus the pace was beginning to the slow.
No6 - Ramathon
Running round the iPro stadium, home of Derby Country was a welcoming sight, and to finish in 1.45.37 - the quickest run of the year.