Not only have I completed my first half marathon, I've also discovered that if you squeeze a AppleMac, you don't get cider but you do get a photo. Yippee!
Sunday morning for me started at 8am in the hotel restaurant eating breakfast.
Porridge with honey was the meal for me, as we sat watching the minutes tic bye.
I was excited and a little worried, as the furthest I had actually run in training for the HM was 11 miles.
The minutes carried on ticking (slowly I might add) until 8:30 arrived.
That was when I could go across the road to collect my race pack.
Leaving the hotel and crossing the Tram tracks I was already getting pretty wet as there was a fine drizzle/mist being blown in from the sea.
I collected the pack and was amazed by how many runners were already there. I asked when I should return and was told 15 mins before the 11am start time.
I squelched back into the Hotel and opened up my first race pack.
I was a little like a child at Christmas, fastening the Chip Timing Tag to my trainer.
Note to self, now I've mastered the photo thing, now I can post a picture of the trainers I bought last month.
9:45 Time for a peanut butter and jam sandwich.
10:00 time to start to get dressed for a run.
10:30 number pinned to shirt and it's time to exit the hotel.
10:45 Standing with 1,200 other runners listening to a tannoy system. I kept on smiling at Janet my wife, she was there with her ipad.
11:00 We were all off and moving towards the Start line, I had positioned myself near to the back as there were lots of extremely fit individuals at the front.
The first three miles were taken up with two visits to Blackpool's North Pier and returning to the start.
My wife Janet was watching, on my first pass of her I gave her my hat.
The second time I passed her, my gloves went the same way.
I was constantly checking my garmin to make sure that I wasn't being dragged along too fast.
In training for this HM my best times on long runs (11 miles) were 14:30 min/mile
I had decided to attempt to average at 13:45 min/mile which would get me to the finish in 3 hours.
The route was now northwards towards Cleveleys along the lower promenade. The tide was out and there were miles of sand the other side of sea wall. The mist was still blowing in, but being at the bottom of a drop we were quite sheltered so the water was dropping onto us. There were lots of people watching and cheering us.
This answered a question that I was going to pose.
Q, Why do you have your Christian name printed below your race number.
A, So all the lovely people cheering you on, can make it even more personal by shouting out your name.
The run along the prom was great as there are several bends along the way plus life belts bolted to the walls. Lots of targets to aim at as you chip away at the miles.
Around the 5 mile point was the first water point, much needed as I was starting to get hot.
At the 5.6 mile point the route ends and you turned right and returned towards Blackpool.
This turn was great for me as my sister and her husband had positioned themselves at the turn. Shouting lots of great things, bought a wet eye and a grin. (Must have been the mist)
Running now got a little harder as the route back was undulating. On the plus side there was no protection from the wet air that was being blown in. It was certainly appreciated by me.
The fitter people had already started to lap me by now but I new this was going to happen so no worries there.
As I continued towards Blackpool I had loads of things to look at as all the posts for the illuminations are still up.
At the 8 mile point there was another water point. Never say no.
Around 8.5 miles I found it a bit hard for me mentally, as the people lapping me carried on towards Blackpool, where I and the other slower runners turned right dropping down again to the lower promenade and heading north again. Hey ho!
Immediately I felt the lack of breeze as I focused on targets to run at, and glancing at my watch on the bleeps to try to keep to my plan.
At the 9.5 mile was more water and then I continued to the end of the prom 10.4 miles.
Last time I saw my sister and her husband, this time she had also brought along my Mum (91) to wave me on. My god the drizzle got heavy there, my eyes were streaming.
Sharp right turn and I was heading back again towards my goal along the undulating top prom. The breeze kept on but the mist vanished and it started to warm up.
Around the 11 mile point was the final water post, I took a bottle and kept hold of it till I reached the 12 mile point, I was getting hot but the breeze and water did the trick.
I forgot to mention that I also consumed two gels at 5 & 9 miles.
At 12.7 miles I smiled as I passed the turning point to the lower prom as I was going straight on this time towards the finish.
13 Miles, I ran towards the finish point, wow what a feeling of elation. Janet my wife was snapping away on her ipad and everybody was cheering and clapping.
I passed thru the finish and collected, water, a Mars bar, a banana and of course my medal plus a t shirt.
I had aimed for 3 hours and completed the HM in 2:57:24
I was over the moon.
Everything about the day was fantastic, the event was run by;
Fylde coast runners. It was superb. Well done to them.
I hope that you have enjoyed my rambling.
All the best.