Fleet Half Marathon

Discussion in 'Race Reports' started by WiltshireWonder, May 3, 2018.

  1. WiltshireWonder

    WiltshireWonder Active Member Staff Member

    On Sunday, I ran what turned out to be my goal race for this quarter – the Fleet HM. My actual goal race was the Annecy HM last week but temperatures soaring into the 20s/late 70s made actually racing that beautiful beast impossible. So I signed up for a HM in the cold, damp UK the following weekend – and Fleet was it. My goal for this race was simply to race it hard and see what I could do. I hoped I could do between 1.55 and 1.57. I actually secretly wanted between 1.53 and 1.54. In the end, I hit 1.56 but was hugely disappointed with that time – so clearly I’d been deceiving myself about what I really wanted. But there we are.

    I'd slept really badly the night before so turned up at the start really quite exhausted - which didn't bode well. But Fleet HM impressed me from the start – they posted me my number last week, along with a tag for my drop-bag. I found parking easily in town. The event was much bigger than I’d expected.

    The course itself is very pleasant. It winds through some houses at first, then does a loop before heading for a second time through the town centre and out onto the surrounding roads. The crowd support was fantastic right from the start. Locals stood outside with jelly-babies and water – one little boy shouted a triumphant ‘yes’ every time someone took his jelly-babies. I was really blown away by the number of people stood outside on a cold morning cheering for us.

    My own race started off decently. I felt like I was running solidly and at a good pace. The race is gently undulating – there are definite ‘hills’ but nothing hard at all and always followed by a steady downhill.
    For the first nine miles, things were solid. Looking at my splits later, I averaged 8.41 which was all I wanted. I didn’t notice when the wheels started to come off but according to my watch it was very clearly M10 when my average pace shot up to 9.26. My run became a zombie-march as I slogged back. I just stuck my head down, smiled at the crowds as they encouraged me and crossed the line, grateful to be done.

    I was pretty disappointed by my time, and sat there for a while before changing out of my cold damp clothes, getting coffee and driving home.

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    Notes on the race

    This was an excellent race! The organisation was impeccable. Plenty of aid stations (water), a jelly baby station at M10, loads of encouraging marshalls, great crowd support, a buzzing staging area. The medal was one of the nicest I’ve ever had and I had the choice to save money and opt out of the t-shirt, which I appreciated. The course was pretty and honest – with about 450ft elevation gain it’s not flat but it was very PR-able if you were properly trained. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this race.

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    carlp, amasidlover and TriTom like this.
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