Bridlington Half Marathon

20th October 2013

Harriers ready for the off

Ready for the off!

The Bridlington Half Marathon was race 13 of 15 in the 2013 Road Championships.  Despite the threat of heavy downpours we were greeted with fine, almost ideal running conditions – that was in Holmfirth; as we arrived in Bridlington there was a good, strong sea breeze!

The Pettit’s and the Yewlett’s made the most of the seaside location, starting the day in luxury having stayed over in a hotel; for the rest of us it was an early start from Holmfirth – and an ideal opportunity to talk race tactics!

John McFadzean was heading over with his daughter Kathryn and kindly offered two spaces in their car which Nicola Brown and Matthew Rose were grateful for; travelling together provided a great opportunity to socialise and discuss race stories and strategies.

Kathryn runs with Baby Tigers and was very nervous about the race and had worried all week; Kathryn has kindly reported on her experiences before and during the race.

My Bridlington Half Marathon story

By Kathyrn McFadzean

I suffered quite badly with pre-race nerves the week prior to the half marathon; I was very unsure on what time I would be able to run, questioned if I’d trained enough and whilst Googling the race I read that the race would close after three hours!  I had visions of me being picked up by a sweeper bus and being the last to finish – it made me tearful and during Saturday night I didn’t sleep a wink.

On the morning of the run I had lots of nerves and was very anxious about completing it. My aim was to get round and and avoid walking.  If I could get round this time it would be a good base from which to build; that was my plan!

In the car we discussed tactics, times, weather conditions and the route; it allowed me to think a bit more about my run.  Matthew wasn’t very happy with my plan; I said I was hoping to start at 10 minute miles and just get slower.  After much discussion, we agreed better to run at a pace that could be sustained – we agreed on a slower pace of 11mi/ml which would bring me in at around 2 hours 23 minutes. 

I kept going on about my spare seven minutes (my backup was to finish in under 2hrs 30mins)… Matthew suggested if I thought I had a seven minute cushion I might be tempted to use it if the going got tough; the cushion was scrapped and the goal was agreed 2:23:00.

So there I was on the start line all raring to go, still feeling rather sick at the thought of running 13 miles and before I knew it we were off.

The first four miles seemed to go by pretty quickly.  With a goal in my head I became a lot more focussed on my pace and running style, it seemed to pull me on mile by mile. Many runners have fancy watches which monitors pace - I had an old fashioned watch that just times as you run along, and with the smallest mile markers I have ever seen it was a little hard but I managed to get into the ‘zone’ and a consistent pace.

In the car on the way Matthew had said that after half way this course was all steady downhill; that was a lie!  I focussed on getting to half way in the knowledge from there it would get easier - it didn't!

The seven mile marker was at the bottom of a very long hill and at this point I didn't like Matthew very much.  I ran up the hill alone with people behind and in front but no one close so had to keep ‘plodding’ along alone.

After this hill my next aim was to get to 10 miles and it all seemed to go along fine,  I got a piece of orange from some nice family at the side of the road and I just kept going.  When I got to 10 miles I really began to feel it in my legs and 3 miles seemed oh so far away. There was a 20 metre hill up to a roundabout and I felt like it was the hardest hill I have ever run up! 

Kathryn on the final straight

Kathryn on the home straight!

At 11 miles I felt shattered but I keep going and was still on score with my time. I could see the sea, so it must mean I was nearly home. I kept saying to myself only 22 minutes of running left  (I think I was even saying it out loud!).   I was eagerly looking out for the 12 mile marker and at my watch and it just never seemed to appear, it was like time had stopped.  I ran passed a beach train stop and was thinking when I came to Bridlington as a kid I use to get this train as it was so far away and I still have all that distance to run.

The 12 mile marker finally appeared and I could see the finish ahead of me. This last mile felt like the longest mile I had ever run and the last 300 yards went on forever.  It was very nice that other Harriers were there to cheer me across the finish line and helping to give me that final push.

I finished in 2 hours 20 minutes and 37 seconds - my fastest time for 4 years and I am over the moon; I gave it my all and it paid off!

I was promised an ice cream if I ran well but I was too tired to take my dad up on this offer.

I will never run a race without an aim from now onwards; it made me more focussed and so happy to achieve it. The support of the other Harriers at this event was fantastic and really did help me out; it was a great day all round.

The icing on the cake was that I accurately predicted Matthew’s finish time, a little fun competition running on the Harriers Facebook page – I made a random guess and got it spot on and won a bottle of wine!

The race was a windy affair and athletes were put through their paces on this quite tough, undulating course. Paul Crowther had a strong run and was first home for Holmfirth in 77th pace, finishing in 1:32:53.  First lady for Holmfirth was Nicola Brown in 1:38:45 [2nd F40].

Brid Half finishers

Finishers, from left Helen,Kevin, Nicola,
Cheryl, Matthew, Claire and Kathryn

Kevin Yewlett’s training for the longer distance paid off arriving at the finish in 1:40:48 [3rd M60]; Matthew Rose was out in action following a triumphant run in Berlin only three weeks prior – a tough run finishing in 1:41:40.  Helen Pettit running her second half marathon had a lovely run, finishing in 1:44:27 [3rd F45].

Claire Whitwam had a super race and finished in 1:52:57 [5th F50], setting a new half marathon PB in the process.   Cheryl Laird finished next  in 1:57:24, nicely ahead of her 2 hour target.  Katherine McFadzean had a great race and finished in 2:20:39.

The reward for our hard was were very good quality technical t-shirt.   All in all, a very well organised and enjoyable event.

Pre-2012 news, results & reports are on the old sites: 2009 to 2011, Pre-2009

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