01.10.2017 the date of this year’s Basingstoke Half Marathon. I have run it last year, and as soon as registration opened for the 2017 race I have signed up.
Last year I’ve run it with my sister and my finish time was 2:44:13 so my plan for this year was to beat this time, even if it’s only with a few seconds.
All week before the race I was constantly checking the weather forecast, I was really worried because it said it will rain. I don’t mind rain, but running a half marathon in rain is definitely not my ideal race.
Luckily because it was my local race and the start was across the road from me I was able to wake up at 8.30am! Usually when I travel to races I need to wake up much much earlier, sometimes even 5am.
So had a nice lay in then made my usual pre race food, which was a big bowl of porridge , banana and a massive cup of coffee.
We left the house at 10.15am because my sister was waiting for me at the start line to wish me good luck.
Hubby and I on our way to the start:
Me with my sister:
When we were waiting around for the start of the race I spotted the ‘pace makers’. To my biggest surprise they even head a 3hr one. I don’t remember having one last year.
I put myself between the 2h30 and the 3hr one, because last year i finished in 2h 44 so was hoping to finish in a similar time.
The race started bang on at 11am, weather was okey. No rain or wind, for me it was the perfect running weather. Not too hot and not too cold.
The start of the race was really uneventful. Probably I started out too fast, but slowly managed to get back just under my planned pace.
Also started my Gymboss, which helps me with my ‘ jeffing‘ strategy. I do 1min run then a 30sec walk and I keep repeating this till the end of the race. Some spectators find this weird and kept saying ” keep running” or ” you can do it”. They not really understanding this whole run-walk-repeat strategy. But I got used to now, don’t really listen to them, usually give them a big smile and keep continue my own thing.
I always start at the back of the pack and keeping myself to the side of the road. I don’t want to hold any faster runners-up, or make them tripping over me when I stop.
During the race a few runner asked me about my strategy then I happily explained to them what I’m doing and why. They took me over but I took them back over at the 2nd part of the race. That’s why I love ‘jeffing’ i’m not getting as tired and can keep up my pace for a whole half -marathon.
The Basingstoke course is really really hilly Have a look at the elevation, pace and heart rate chart below.
My pace was pretty constant throughout the race, expect the hills. I tried running as much of them as I could, but when I could not then I just started walking.
I’ve met a lovely girl ( forgot to asked her name ) but she told me that she follows me on Instagram and that I’m awesome with my running, and she has no idea how can I do this much running. So if it was you – girl with a green charity top and a knee brace THANK YOU!! This is one of the reason I share my good and also bad days on social media. Even if I motivate 1 person I done my job well 🙂
I’ve reached 10.2km in 1h 16mins, which is around average for me. I was pleased with it, could have been a bit faster but because of the hills I didn’t punish myself being upset and disappointed. I knew that almost half of the race is done and I needed keep going to finish and to beat last year’s time.
I’ve seen some AWESOME people on course. See below a guy wearing his full army kit ( includes a 25kg bag, I’ve asked ) and the guy next tim him wearing his full fire department kit. I totally respect them ! I was struggling on course sometimes without anything extra, and they smashed the course even with the extra kits.
Because I run the race last year, I knew where the photography guys will be. As soon as I spotted them I knew what I had to do. See the results below. Hehehe
They even managed to catch a few ‘flying feet’ photos.
There was loads of volunteers around the course. I loved the fact that they were handing out water and energy gels. Loads of them were children but have seen a few elderly as well. I want to thank you for all their time and effort, they really have made my race day better.
Also there were loads and loads supporters around the course. There was a guy with his dog and a massive cowbell at the top of one the hills, another guy had a boxing glove and the Rocky music was playing in the back ground. I couldn’t stop smiling when I got to the top of that hill. Loads of people had a proper family day out there, just to support us. The only time when I can take food from strangers is on race day lol, loads of jelly beans and harribos were handed out. Basingstoke half marathon is nowhere near as big as the London marathon but have to say our crowed support is absolutely incredible.
On my way back when I’ve seen the Holiday Inn I knew that I only have probably another 7 mins running to go. I’ve stopped my Gymboss and was planning to run the whole last km. Everything went will till I got to the massive hills by the tennis court.
I checked my watch and seen that I was below my target time I decided to walk up the hill a bit. As soon as I was on the top of the hill I knew I’ve done it, even if I have to crawl across the finish but I’ve done another half marathon!
At the finish tunnel I’ve seen my other half waiting for me and cheering for me.
I’ve crossed the finish line in 2:43:05, which is faster than my last year time! I beat my time, only by a minute and a bit but I still done it!
I was also happy with my splits, and even managed a few fast ones at the second half of the race. You can clearly see when I had the hills to climb.
But I am happy with it, my target New York Marathon pace is 08:08mins/km so completing a half marathon at 07:40 is pretty good for me. I feel really confident about New York.
At the end I’ve collected my race medal, a few bananas, chocolate bar and a bottle of water from the volunteer kids.
So in summary I had a really good race, to be honest for next year i really need to practice those brutal hills, but I’ll get there. i have another time to beat and I know well I’m capable of it. Maybe I even try to do it 5 mins faster, lest say to be under 2h 40mins that would be awesome. I have the plan now I just need to do the action to make it happen.
On the thursday after the race I went to buy the local newspaper called Basingstoke Gazette to see if I made to the finishers list or not. I did indeed 🙂
920 Gabriella Waller 02:44:17
They have used my finish time, not my Net ( gun ) time. I always use my net time because I never start from the front line and it takes me a few minutes to cross the start line.
Also see below the official finish times from the website:
If anyone fancy signing up for this race, than click here 🙂