Well what a day that was! After meeting fellow Striders at the club we set off for Helsby just after 9am to make sure we were early arriving to get a parking spot, and only just got into the carpark at the sports club as everyone else had the same idea it would seem. The wind was gusting and very chilly so we sat in the car for a while to stay warm and after a wander around and trip to the loos returned to the car to get prepped for the race. Jason Bulley turned up with his bike to support everyone on the race which was very welcome.
|Perry and Steve- looking good on the finishing straight|
|Claire and Catherine and their happy jazz hands!|
The pace suddenly started telling and I found myself struggling, a fact I wasn't surprised at given that I was running well inside my previous fastest half marathon best time. The drinks station at mile 10 provided a welcome walk for about 100 yards and then it was time to zip up the man suit and dig deep. Putting on my headphones I put my tunes on and focused on keeping a regular rhythm, aiming for the next lamppost, next junction or next road sign. Jason rode alongside for a couple of hundred meters and I could barely speak to him and just signalled that I was struggling. Perry was going strong alongside me and kept encouraging me and keeping me focused. The long downhill straight to the 12 mile marker was a welcome relief but as soon as the road levelled out I felt like just stopping and (frankly) falling over. The 12 mile marker however meant that with only a mile and a bit to go I was determined to tough it out and keep running, I knew I was on for a new PB but was also aware the Perry was also close to beating his own PB, so told him to run ahead, which he refused to do, staying with me till the finish, and as I approached the finish there was no sprint, no last burst of speed - it was all I could do to cross the line and still remain vertical!
|Terry "Ironbridge" Coppenhall|
|Jill - still smiling till the very end.|
(Kudos to Chris Brumby for all the photos.)