1st April 2012
I woke up to another blue sky day but was actually pretty nervous about this race. My last few races have been low key with small crowds but I knew that over two thousand runners and big crowds would be gathering at Bournemouth Pier. There was also a good turn out of Westbourne club runners (thanks Ray for a photo of a few of us pre-race).
I’ve run one road half marathon in the past (New Forest Half 2011) in 1.50.07, so the obvious goal was to try and get that sub 1.50 time! At 10.05 we were off, heading west along the prom. After a few hundred metres we hit a short hill and joined up with the cliff top road. I set off too quickly, which is very unlike me, and soon found I was being overtaken by quite a few people. Still, once we headed back towards Bournemouth along the prom, I put on some music and settled into a reasonable pace.
The next few miles took us to the start of Hengistbury Head. We were running into the wind but it gave a nice reprieve from what had turned out to be quite a warm day. At the site of the old Lighthouse Cafe we then turned inland to navigate a few residential roads before joining the cliff top road and heading back towards Bournemouth. At this point I ran past my mates house and got a good boost from everyone shouting at me from the balcony. I needed it too- the previous weekends marathon had taken more out of my legs than I realised! At Boscome Pier we dropped back down onto the prom and I had a decent, speedyish last mile. I was stoked (and suprised) to finish in 1.42.47. It was a hard but fun run with good crowd support and nice weather but…I have to admit i’m raring to get back on the trails.
No race photos this time but I do have this slightly odd one of me posing with a large ice cream in Bournemouth gardens after the race which will have to do!