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


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