Blackpool Half... almost!

Posted on: 24 Feb 2008

Near perfect weather for the Half today in Blackpool and around 1500 runners.  Only problem was they had to change the course as late as Thursday when the police wanted to cancel the race because of sightseers going to see the boat that was lay on it's side half submerged in the sea up neat Little Bispham.  Sorry if anyone's been to see it but why would you drive miles to see half a boat sticking out of the sea??

On my way to the race HQ before the start, I got beeped at by a car as I crossed a road and turned round to see Pete Elwick grinning at me as he searched for somewhere to park.  Caught up with him again as I started my warm up after finding out about the altered course.  Unforttunately, I didn't get to see Judith... sorry Judith I waited until my team mates had finished then had to go and get some clothes on as it went very cold and must have missed you and Pete finishing before I got back to the finish. I 'll check out how you both did  soon.

The course became a small lap (approx 2 miles) then 2 larger laps. I set off very near the front and went through the first mile in 6:28 - a little quick! Steadied it for a second mile, that included a very tight turn back on ourselves up a hill and back through the start for 6:58.

The 3rd mile took us back on to the concrete along the sea front with some big waves pounding the wall.  I went through 3 in 6;48, followed by a 6:43 and 6:51 up to 5 miles.  As we turned at the top of the course into the wind and the up hill sections my pace dropped to 7:09 and 7:04 before I forced the pace along with a 6:58 to 8 miles.

Then I began to slow as I needed a toilet stop but couldn't see where I could go.  Eventually I spotted a container that was fenced off and dived behind it to waste over a minute! Got going again and began to chase the group I'd been with and got to 9 miles in 7:15 followed by 6:54 to 10 in around 69 minutes.

Back to the turn for the hills and head wind to 11 in 7:03 and 12 in 7:20 whcih was a shock so I put in a big effort and headed for the finish.  The next mile took me to the finish with 6:28 to finish in 1:29:58 a PB as an over 50!

Which brings me to my title...  I think the course was short by around 0.1 mile.  So under my target of 1:30 but with over a minute for a toilet stop I think I would have still been under 1:30 if I'd not stopped and the course had been full distance. 

Having said that I must voice all the runners great appreciation for Ron McAndrew and his organising team who refused to give into police pressure to cancel the race and managed to keep the race on so as not to disappoint the 1500 runners!

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