So how was it for you?

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 11/09/11]

I hope your experience of today’s Bristol Half was a positive one – that you got to the finish line in one piece and with a smile on your face. If you were aiming for a time then I hope you hit your target.

It was great to see so many people of all ages, sizes and shapes out there pounding the streets. First timers mingling with those who’ve had a lifetime of distance running. The guys with the bagpipes probably deserve some sort of special award.

As seems to happen quite often at the Bristol Half, race day turned out to be pretty hot. Certainly it was hotter than it had been in the weeks running up to the race. Some people don’t really notice that. Lucky them! Others were clearly struggling. The relatively dull weather over the last month or so means those of us who don’t really like the heat hadn’t really had a chance to acclimatise. Some no doubt had to modify their expected finishing time as a result of the weather.

I was running a pretty even paced race until just after 10 miles. I was heading for a time that would have been fine, given the heat and the limited amount of training I’d done. Then my left hamstring and glute decided they’d had enough of that for one day, thank you very much. I had to slow to a jog for the last couple of miles. In the end I finished in 2hours 3mins. You couldn’t ask for a more graphic illustration of the benefits of proper training.

It seems to me that the organisation of the race improves each year. My only real gripe is that they never seem to have enough portaloos on College Green at the start. That was the same this year. Long queues of people stand nervously looking at their watches wondering whether they are going to make it to the start line on time. There may be lots of loos somewhere else – in which case the signage needs to improve! Perhaps that’s one the organisers can crack next year.

Hopefully your race today has invigorated your running. Maybe time to commit to some serious winter training? Let’s resolve to start 2012 stronger than ever.

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