Yesterday Steve Bright and I headed down to Portsmouth for the Great South Run, with Bob who had offered to come along as chief motivator, bag carrier and general encourager.
In order to avoid traffic delays, an early start was needed so the prospect of the race paled into insignificance compared to the task of trying to get Steve ready on time. However, Bob and I instigated “Operation Early Alarm” and to my surprise Bob delivered Steve to my front door bang on time!!
We had a very smooth journey down and arrived in plenty of time. The weather was glorious – and for those of you who have done this race before, I have never seen the sea so calm with absolutely no headwind for that last mile and a half!! My excuses were starting to disappear…
Bob and I then instigated “Operation Quick Change” and you may be surprised to hear that Steve was changed and ready for the race in under 15 minutes – including a rather delicate manoeuvre involving Bob holding a towel round Steve to protect the interests of the nearby other runners!!!
We got into the start pens in time to ignore the mass warm up which proved to be completely impossible to join in given the numbers of runners – and spotted the 1 hour 10 pacers, who Steve and I decided to try to stay with. Despite me checking with them that they were aiming for 7 min miles it soon became apparent that they weren’t ….as we did each of the first 3 miles in about 6.45 mins….I had a bit of a grumble with some of the other runners who were also trying to stick to the pacers that they were going too fast but we carried on anyway. We hit half way at just over 34 mins so spot on…until I heard one of the pacers telling the other that they needed to up the pace! At which point I reverted to plan A and did my own thing!
Conditions were pretty much perfect if slightly warm – which was a surprise for the end of October – and the much feared headwind really didn’t materialise.
This is a mass participation race and is very well organised and a lovely scenic route through Portsmouth with lots of support along the way and is well worth doing if you are after a fast flat 10 miles. I didn’t spot any other Harriers along the way although I did hear a “go Tunbridge Wells” near the start so wondered if someone else was running. When I checked the results I saw that Karin Giannone had also ran.
I was very pleased to just about hit my target time – knocking about 2 and a half minutes off last year’s time. With hindsight I wished I’d abandoned the pacers earlier and run my own race which might have meant a stronger finish but the fear of Bob kept me going over the last long mile!! Steve had said that he was aiming for about 75 mins so he was also spot on target. Out of about 20,000 runners I think we all three did very well!!! Results below.
|Nicola Morris||208||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||737||01:10:54|
|Stephen Bright||5755||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||1251||01:15:03|
|Karin Giannone||11105||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||8846||01:42:37|