The Wilmslow Half Marathon was never really on my radar. I’d provisionally decided to do the local duathlon on Sunday 19th March just to keep my legs ticking over but then I found out that there were a fair few local runners heading down to take part in the Wilmslow Half Marathon. I was further assured that it was a relatively fast and flat course. Trimpell 20 was my usual haunt before Manchester Marathon but with only two weeks to go it was just a little too close to the big day for my liking.
So Wilmslow seemed like the ideal and logical option.
We’d arrived at Wilmslow fairly early having had a trouble free run down on the motorway so we had about an hour to kill before having to head to the start line which was about ten minutes from the car park.
Having gotten to the start line I caught up with Andrew and discussed plans for the race.
My plan for the race itself was to run as close to my marathon pace as possible which would have meant around a finish of 1:38.
We’d decided to run together for as long as possible.
The start line was fairly packed and we were soon off and running. My plan was out of the window after mile one when we posted a 6:46 mile. Andrew was on a mission and I was getting dragged along for the ride.
The first 10k went by in a blur. It was a fairly flat course but there was nothing of interest in terms of scenery…plenty of bushes and trees though. We sailed through 6 miles under 42 minutes.
Not long into 7 miles the wind and rain hit. It looked like we were going to be heading into the wind for the rest of the race at that point.
I started struggling around this point. The legs were fine and the body was willing but any amount of wind constantly battering gets to my lungs and my asthma starts to flare up. It was around nine miles that I started to pull back a bit.
A mile later and I could still see Andrew in the distance. The wind had let up somewhat and I was catching up on the downhill so we were side by side again by mile 11. I was still struggling with the breathing though so I gave him a little shout of encouragement and dropped back again.
With a big push on the last mile I crossed the line in 1:34.05 (Position 459 out of 3077).
Andrew finished in 1:33.38 which was a great confidence boost for him and a return to form.
The course certainly wasn’t as flat as Inskip and, given the wind and rain, I was relatively happy with the time. It was definitely quicker than I wanted to go mind.
But yet another confidence boost heading into Manchester.
Stu and me could have done without the 4 mile walk back to the car park though. Although it did free the legs up somewhat.
Manchester is days away. My ninth marathon in total.
My legs feel good and this is the best training I’ve ever done leading into it. The goal is sub 3:30. That’s what I want and that’s what I’m going to push to get. Is it possible? We’ll see, but I trust the training and the stats that have come back from that and all signs lead to it being a possibility. If I can pace myself right that is.
Wish me luck.