Musings (her words!) from Laura Hind
It was back to the Homeland (Cheshire) for Tatton Half Marathon, one of a few races I’d entered at the start of the summer when running had been going well and I was feeling in fine fettle. Fast forward a few months which had blighted by a few bouts of illness and therefore patchy training – I was not confident that I was going to end my racing year with a good performance. However, Guy Fawkes 10 last week had gone fairly well, so I knew I was good to at least make it round the course and could just focus on deer spotting and enjoying the lovely surroundings.
I’d agreed to run it with a friend from home, but she had also been ill the previous week, so we soon parted ways, with me running ahead. The race is a two lap course around Tatton Park in Knutsford, with a slight deviation for the middle miles, thankfully meaning we only had to run over the slippery field section once! It was mostly tarmac and there were a couple of switchbacks, so I was able to enjoy the distraction of seeing if there was anyone I recognised and regularly waving to Louise as we passed each other.
As always, I had to give myself a good talking to between miles 5 and 8, but I decided to relax and enjoy being out in the bright Cheshire sunshine after a night of rain and wind. I just needed to get round, although as my first few miles were quite quick (for me!) there was a little voice in my head which kept telling me that I could get a PB if I was able to sustain my form. I hit the 11 mile marker in 1.37 and I knew then that I could slow to 10 min miles if needed and still be within my previous PB. At the 13 mile mark, there was a sign reading ‘Sprint starts here’ which I’d seen on the first lap – whilst I’m normally up for an ‘Asda sprint’, today I just didn’t have it in me – so instead I trotted into the finish. I was pleasantly surprised to read 1.56:24 on my watch, 2 mins 40 faster than last year’s VoY half! Very happy with that, but feeling physically broken, I clapped Louise in and then headed back to the folks’ for a well-earned roast dinner!
The race was well organised, with great support and motivational mantras from the marshals. Nice medal and T-shirt too. Would recommend this to anyone fancying a trip across to the dark side or looking for a PB course.
The race was won by David Alcock (unattached) in 1.12:50 and first lady was Julie Hambleton (unattached) in 1.22:03.