A week after returning from Kenya and a hard but good week of training back at sea level, I wanted to test myself over a half marathon; more as a hard training run than a race. As half marathons are quite few and far between at this time of year I picked the Burnham Beeches Half Marathon. It’s a picturesque two lap course, very little flat but no severe hills. Not a course for a personal best but a good, well organised half marathon nonetheless.
I arrived in plenty of time, picked up my number and chip then went for my warm up. As it is quite a low key race, which is usually won in around 72 minutes, I didn’t expect much competition, which would let me stick to my training plan. However when I turned up at the start line I was joined by Phil Wicks, who has a half marathon best of 62.51 (55th on the UK all-time list). Like me, Phil is training for the Frankfurt Marathon. It ended up being a good race; we ran together for the first 5 miles and then Phil tucked in behind me while I tried to push the pace. At around 8.5 miles I must have started to slow down a little up one of the hills so Phil pushed on and pulled about a 300m lead. With about 3 miles to go I got a second wind and managed to maintain the gap between us finishing 2nd in a respectable time of 68.00.
Considering no-one has broken 70 minutes on this course since 2006 I was pleased with this run, I’m right where I want to be with two and a half months left until Frankfurt.
My next race is the Prague 10km on 8th September where I hope to take down my 10km personal best, so for the next few weeks it’s back to some hard graft.