43 Massey runners took part in this very popular Half Marathon, and we were blessed with some early September sunshine and a bearable 16-18 degrees temperature. This was my first Kenilworth half marathon so I was a looking forward to running along some new routes and seeing if I could perhaps beat my previous half marathon pb set at Coventry earlier this year. All I’d heard about the route though was how tough and hilly it was, but that wasn’t going to phase me, After all, I’d done my fair share of hill training recently along the Dorset coastline so what’s a few undulations I thought!
At about 9.50am we all gathered for the obligatory Massey team photo and then found our space at the start. After the safety briefing, we heard a little tribute for one of the sponsors of the race and local businessman Joe Richards who sadly passed away only a few weeks ago, the same age as me (46) it made me think how lucky we are to be able to enjoy things like this mornings run.
The horn that signalled the start of the race blew (or rather fizzled and spluttered) and we were off!
The first three miles seemed to fly past fairly quickly as we meandered out into some lovely Warwickshire countryside, then all of a sudden my right knee started to click on every stride, this wasn’t right I thought, and I slowed down a little to see if it made a difference, but it was still there, I remember the same thing happening on the downhills of the hilly hundred and told myself it would go soon like it did then, luckily I was right and found my pace again for the middle of the race.
By mile 10 I knew I was on course for a pb if I could only keep the same pace (or very close to it) for the next three miles, the usual mind battles and self doubt crept in for a while but I kept trying to push myself. And after finally getting to the top of the hill on mile 12 (which I’d failed to notice on the way out) I knew I had just a few more minutes of discomfort left.
I recognised the final street but couldn’t remember how far down I had to go before turning into the sports club and finish line. Then with about 150 meters to go, out of nowhere a familiar red and white vest came gliding past me, it was Jose who must have been catching me up as I started to slow over the last stretch.
By the time I’d noticed he was already 6-7 metres ahead of me, which didn’t stop me trying to catch him although he was far too quick and I was far too tired to make up the gap at the finish!
Bravo amigo 😉
Looking up at the clock and seeing 1.32.05 was one of the best feelings ever, two minutes chipped off my pb and another one in the bag to go along with the 5k, 5mile and 10k ones this summer.
Not a bad mornings work I thought as I guzzled the usual post race “sports” drink.
and an official gun time of 1.31.55 (the same as Jose :-))
Race Report by Leon Coppola