Race report – Wokingham Half Marathon
Chris and I entered this race some time back. It was one of the nominated qualifiers for the England Masters Half Marathon team. I was fortunate enough to have already bagged a place following the last qualifier but we both wanted to run well here and see if we could get Chris a place too.
The event was a huge half-marathon. A race village with stalls and a proper finishing area with music blaring out. Over 3000 runners usually enter with some very fast times normally on show.
The race started with a cheeky 600m or so uphill. As the field was quite congested it slowed you down enough so you didn’t go out too fast. Once the field started to thin out the course was held on 100% closed roads and the pace in the opening miles was very fast indeed. I caught sight of Chris at a turnaround a few miles in and we wished each other good luck.
A race billed as “mainly flat” certainly had a few inclines included for good measure. No killer hills but quite a few drags uphill which started to tire the legs as well as a moderate headwind in places. A double hill in mile 10 was especially challenging and this seemed to slow everyone down and was my worst mile of the race.
The last few miles were just a case of holding the pace and focusing on form and breathing. Once I was past the 12 mile mark it was just about digging in and trying to get a decent finish in. A finishing time of 1.18.02 was just outside my PB time but I was pleased with it nonetheless.
Despite a lack of consistent training over the previous months, Chris exactly equalled his PB – finishing in 1.24.20 which he was delighted with.
The results made very interesting reading. The top 20 all ran sub 1.10. To break into the top 100 you had to run a 1.15. A very fast field indeed.
Overall a decent race on closed roads with a “big race” atmosphere throughout. The sunshine was an added bonus.