Race Report: Paddock Wood Half


I’ve not written one of these before so I hope I’ve sent it to the right place!

So. Paddock Wood Half. My first road race as a proper runner. I ran T.Wells Half in 2021 at the end of my first year of running, but I was more of a cyclist who was experimenting with running at that point.
Instead of writing an essay, I think I’ll list some of my favourite moments.

Pulling on the Deckchair for the first time. I felt very proud to feel part of and to represent the club.
Lining up on the startline with the two Alexes and John Law. Bit of an ‘I’m running with my heroes’ moment. Absolutely loved the frisson of energy at the front; seeing all the blocks of different club kits, sensing the tension in the air.
Following John for the first couple of miles. I knew he was running approximately at 1.20 schedule, so I just kept him in sight and tried not to let everything overwhelm me. Thanks mate.
The point in the race at about 3miles in where I found ‘my pace for the day’. I settled into what felt right and then after a while checked my watch. Hmmm, 3.38min/km. Faster than planned but I felt ok so I thought I’d just crack on.
The middle bit. It’s not nice but it’s not bad. You know how it is.
The end bit. This is why I compete (on the bike in the past and now in running). The body is screaming I WANT TO STOP. The brain is shouting shut up, you’ve done too much to stop now… and then you transcend: it all goes quiet, the air roars into your gaping mouth, your vision narrows just to the road ahead, the spectators are inconsequential, you are at a point of absolute max effort yet you still keep going, faster and faster. No need to worry about lactate buildup now, you’re not stopping for anything. Man I love that feeling! Times don’t matter to me as much as finding that feeling.
Afterwards. It’s a buzz isn’t it. Cheers for the sweaty hug John!

I’d like to mention the team that puts on and participates in Monday Track night. This is where I learnt the joy of trying to run REALLY fast. And when it all goes dark, the coaches voices haunt you: drive your elbows back, high knees….
I’d also like to thank Bob for pointing out my left arm should at least do something similar to my right. I’m working on it Bob.
Andy Howey for becoming a friend and inspiring me that even old gits can be seriously fast.
Finally the whole club for making me feel so welcome and putting up with my incessant chatter during club runs.

When can we do it again? 😈

Ed Faser