Monday, 18 June 2012

Freckleton Half Marathon


I crossed the finish line with a lady marshal saying; I was the first person to finish with a smile on my face!
I finished in 22nd place  out of almost 600 runners.
The race is the oldest Half Marathon in the UK and amazingly Ron Hill still holds the record of 1 hour 4 mins set back in the early 1960's.
It's not the fastest course for sure, a combination of a 2pm start in mid June and the deceptive gradual long uphills, makes for a challenging event.
My best time here was 81 mins a couple of years ago, so I was pleased to achieve 83 mins on a hot sunny day.
my fitness has really improved in the last couple of weeks and I'm 100% sure there is more to come!
The Freckleton Half is part of a weekend of village celebrations and as a result there is always an amazing enthusiastic local crowd out on the route to give encouragement and add to the character of the ancient event.
I set off fast on the short one mile loop of the village before heading out across the picturesque English countryside.
By 4 miles I was starting to regret my fast start as first team mate Rob McGrath then Stevie Lewis caught and passed me!
I eased up a bit to recovery then got onto the back of two guys who passed me.
By 7 miles I felt strong again and could see I was closing in on Stevie ahead.
I focused in on his back and bit by bit slowly caught him up by ten and a half miles.
We were now on the dual carriage way gradually climbing upwards.
I decided to give it everything, the heat was starting to make me feel slightly dizzy but I ignored it !
Robs back was coming into veiw, so I pushed even harder.
I was right on my limit of blowing up, but I was feeling stronger as the race went on.
Into the final half mile and I could see Rob speed up to pass a guy.
With no chance of catching my team mate I just focused on finishing strongly.
I crossed the line spot on the time I'd had in my head!
It had been a great race and a real challenge and most importantly I finished in one piece!
The progress continues!
I think now for me, real racing is more important than times!

Freckleton Half Marathon Race Results

4 comments:

marty said...

good comeback race, rick. hi to stevie

Ewen said...

Good stuff Rick. Only a couple of minutes off your course best is a great sign. You had a great race too, and yeah racing is fun, no matter the time.

That 1:04 of Ron Hill stands up as a great record!

Thomas said...

Great race. That's a pretty competitive field when a 83 min half on a tough course "only" gives you 22nd place.

Mandy said...

i love reading your story of the race Rick- I was disappointed with my run but i'm gonna learn from it and train harder.x