Kenilworth Half Marathon 06.09.2015

As I arrived at the sports centre I was very nervous thinking had I done enough training to get me through the 13.2 mile course which I knew was going to test my endurance as I had previously done this race before. It was good to see so many familiar Massey faces as I arrived and that was a good reassurance that I was going to be okay. The sun was shining and there was hardly a cloud in the sky and I thought to myself it is going to be a warm run. As time went more Massey runners and arrived and supporters so it was going to another Massey invasion of Kenilworth. Once the traditional photo was done it was time to line up at the start. The hooter went off which sounded like a muffled squeak we started moving forward. We set off on a journey of Kenilworth countryside, Daniel agreed to be my pacer to help me get a good time and he kept reminding me not to speed off like I tend to do and not get pulled long by the speed of the race. I set off a little quick and I was able to pull that back. As we headed out of the sport centre and down the side streets you could see there was a lot of support from the local community. As we were heading out of Kenilworth you could hear shouts of Go Massey.

Myself and Daniel ran side by side, slowly overtaking runners in front of us as we headed to the first mile, the first bit of the course was quite nice as it had a downward feel as we passed the first mile we were over a minute quicker on the pace we were planning to do, The plan was to run 10m 40s miles (I don’t think we reached that till the back end of the race). We then headed towards mile 2 and we had are first major incline which I attacked really hard, once again we were still quicker than the pace we had set. We had vocal support from the bike crew Nathan, Anne-Marie and Sylvia who were flying up and down the course cheering us on. Before we knew it we got to mile 3 and are time was 29m.30ish which was 2minutes quicker than we practiced our pace at the parkrun the previous day, The course was starting to change with more undulating hills and dips and it was getting really warm, We passed the first water stop and we took gulps of water and set off on the next stage of the run.

The field of runners were well spread out at this point as we made are approach to the 4mile point as the course was still inclining. Daniel kept checking the pace we were doing and it was still quicker the roads were becoming narrower as he found the energy to warn all the runners in the local vicinity that there were vehicles coming. We were still making good time as we passed mile 5 and 6. I glanced at my watch at the 6mile mark and it was saying we had got there roughly about 59minutes ish. Darren caught up myself and Daniel, we had a little chat with him and he then went off into the distance. The course was still inclining and we soon caught up with Debbie so it was the Massey trio for the next part of the course, At this point we had some emergency vehicles pass us so we were relieved it wasn’t for us. We were still making good headway taking in the water stops to quickly hydrate, Rachel Brock caught up with us and it was a Massey quartet for the next mile and a half. Once we hit mile 8 it was a downward mile, my legs were slowly feeling it and I was starting to slow down and during this mile Daniel, Rachel and Debbie were moving on. I kept pushing hard setting little goals in my head to get through the next 4 miles, I got to mile 9 and kept saying to myself only 4miles to go and that is only 40ish minutes to go.

I took some water at the next water stop. Darren caught up with me again as we passed him again on between mile 6 and 7, I could still see the other Massey runners in the distance and they were slowly moving further away and each mile seemed to be getting longer. I was having to dig in deep, I got to mile 10 and was thinking only a parkrun not far know, having to go up undulating hills when you are starting to feel the heat is a battle. I kept pushing forward through miles 11 and 12. It was good to see Anne Marie at mile 12 at the top the hill which helped me because I was feeling completely spent. Then it was the homeward turn running back into Kenilworth with people cheering you on, I took my last water stop and that gave me a bit of energy for the last mile, I saw Jenna and Joanne and they gave us a big cheer so I was getting closer to the finish, As I turned the corner and headed the last bit I could hear a cow bell in the distance and there was Phyll, Sally and Ali cheering us on and the end was getting closer, As I went back into the sports centre there was only 300 yards to go and I could hear the Massey Support roar my name and that was enough to lift me and carry me home over the finish line, it was strange doing the last 100m on running on grass as it had been tarmac and road for the last 13.1miles. As I passed the finishing line I saw my time which was going to be a big Pb. As passed the line my legs went to Jelly I was completely spent, Daniel came to my aid like a guardian angel and ensured I had a drink and sat down. Special thanks to those who came and checked on me Trevor and Alison apologise if I had forgotten anybody.

When I came too after quite a few drinks of fluid. It dawned on me that I had achieved something special. I want to say a special thanks to Daniel for pacing me through course and getting my T-shirt for me and ensuring I was okay after the race. The day was a special day as many people achieved milestones and the support each one of us had was very special and I will not forget.

Report Kelvin Elliott.