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‘Stur Half’ – 29 July 2012

Kelly Williams reports on her latest Stur PB run.

Preamble

Swanage  – 14 July

Swanage Half Marathon – Started in hazy sunshine, got drowned in a massive cloudburst through the middle, and finished under blue skies!  Had to walk many of the uphills much to my annoyance. Last year I'd run the whole way.  In short, a disappointing race. 

Sturminster Newton – 29 July

After the disappointment of the Swanage Half two weeks earlier when I had to walk far more than I would have liked, I set myself the goal of running every step of the ‘Stur Half’ no matter how slow I got. With this in mind I decided time wasn't important and that I wouldn't look at my watch during the run. I also had the aim of carrying out my chiropractor’s instruction of hammering my body before returning to see her!

A couple of miles in and I could hear music. At first I thought it was a marshal with a radio, but then after passing the marshal I realised the noise was still coming from ahead of me. Eventually I caught up with the culprit who had a device strapped to her arm but without any headphones.  I asked her to turn it down to be considerate to those runners who prefer not to have music. Whether she did or not I don't know as fortunately my pace soon took me out of earshot!

Then a couple of miles later I was following two people who were obviously running together, both wearing earphones. We passed a sign indicating we were approaching a water station. The person on the right put her arm behind her and started to pull something out of her pocket whilst turning to her companion. I guessed she was trying to retrieve a gel and find out if her friend also wanted one. Now the road at this point was fairly narrow and a car was trying to come in the opposite direction. It was travelling slowly and beeping its horn. Now I don't mean little beeps, but great big long beeeeeep, beeeeep, beeeeeep! The woman in front of me was oblivious and in the car’s path. If I had been a bit closer I would have tapped her on her shoulder but I was just a bit too far back. The car stopped, still beeping.  Just as the woman reached the car she turned and saw it and pushed her hands onto the bonnet. It could have been a lot worse.

A little further on, and the first rain shower came. This was quite refreshing but the dirt on the road quickly turned to mud and was quite slippery underfoot.

Halfway, and I was feeling good. I resisted the urge to look at my watch reminding myself that time was not important. Also, I knew the second half of this race would be slower than the first so didn't want to get any hopes up!

I then could see Annemarie ahead of me. Was I running out of my skin or was Annemarie in trouble?  I caught up with her just after the 7 mile marker and checked she was OK. She told me she was just taking it easy. I carried on.

I got to 10 miles and could feel the road heading up. I knew this was the start of the long slog uphill and where I would start to struggle. Whether it was knowing I was onto the part of the course I dreaded most, or whether it was because I'd been pushing myself, but I started to feel some aches in my left hip, knee and ankle.

At some point Annemarie went past me again. I tried to keep her in sight and probably managed it for a mile or so.

Past the 12 mile marker and then the sign for the last water station. I knew this was at the top of the hill and felt relieved.  Also the aches seemed to vanish!

Through the trees and out onto the main road for the final descent to the finish. I opened my stride and let gravity do its thing! I turned into the school field and found a small burst of energy to sprint to the line passing someone on the way. I crossed the line a little disappointed that none of the other competing WACers were cheering me on - they were all too busy gassing and probably thought I was several minutes away!

I stopped my watch and changed the display to see how I'd done –  2:01.  That can't be right it must be 2:07. Looked again. No it definitely said 2:01. A new PB!

This race is now something special for me.  I've run it three times and set three PBs!  I'm frightened to do it again in case I spoil the record!

Kelly

 

 
 
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