Perkins Great Eastern Run

Discussion in 'Front Page News' started by Tedlet, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. Tedlet

    Tedlet Barefooters
    1. United Kingdom

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    Perkins Great Eastern Run
    By Tedlet


    Earlier this year I decided I was brave enough to enter my first half marathon which took place this last weekend on Sunday 14th Oct. -The Perkins Great Eastern Run.

    It's a flat course around the city and streets of Peterborough in the UK.
    My partner has run it in previous years (shod) and I've always had that 'itchy feet' feeling that I'd like to run it, but until I started running barefoot I know I would have struggled badly with knee pain. Having steadily increased my BF distance however I decided it was time to take the plunge!

    I trained reasonably consistently during the 3-4 months prior to the race, basically running every other day, with weekend sessions being the longest run and the mid-week sessions being shorter. Prior to race day my furthest distance was 18km. So I knew that the final 3km of the 21km half marathon on race day would be unchartered territory for me...:jaw drop:

    Virtually all of my training runs had been in the dry (luckily enough). So when race day arrived it was disappointing that so did the rain -in bucket loads! All day! Although I was fairly confident that I had prepared quite well, for some reason I was still pretty nervous and was very glad that my partner (now in VFFs) was going to be running with me. (..always helps to be with someone who knows the race routine, etc... I think...).

    I made sure we travelled early enough to arrive in plenty of time for the start -ready to queue for the toilets (why are there never enough?), then queue for the bag drop tent, and then stand around in the starting pens area -all in the pouring rain! I opted for the 2hr 30min starting pen so that I could complete the course hopefully nice and comfortably at a steady/easy pace.
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    These are the much more professional looking runners at the start line ready for the gun. Obviously I'm way way back behind the start -in fact it took another 17 minutes of standing around in the rain before our section was released to the line. At this stage I was most definitely not enjoying the experience!

    But then we crossed the line and we were off... Instantly, somehow, I seemed to settle into a comfortable stride and suddenly everything felt good despite the weather -legs good, -pace good, -feet fantastic! We were passing people too! ...Ok not racing past, but gradually moving one by one up the field:). It is true what they say about the motivational impact of starting towards the back & passing other runners steadily instead of being constantly passed by others having started too far towards the front.

    I was at last relaxing and feeling really good about the run.

    The route is almost entirely tarmac roads and paths (varying degrees of smoothness/roughness), with just the last 200 metres or so on grass as you finish back at race HQ. Generally I would say the surface was ideal for BF and I didn't encounter any surface problems anywhere. Water stations were positioned at around every three miles and I used each one, just for a couple of sips...

    As I got closer to my furthest training distance so far (18km) I could feel my body starting to tire and could tell that my form wasn't as 'clean' as it had been at the start. My hips were starting to ache and as I altered gait etc... to compensate my knee started to ache as well -Was I suddenly doing something wrong? Or was this just normal race aches? I had no idea... I was determined to finish though, so I slowed down even more than I already had and tried to focus on form (short stride, lift, etc.. the usual stuff). Eventually we made it to the edge of the grass area where the finish line was in sight, so I managed to pick the speed back up a little to hopefully achieve at least a respectable-ish looking finish.
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    I crossed the line at 2.25.53 (chip time) with some hurting joints and of course very wet!

    Post race- my legs stiffened quite quickly in the car on the way back and I seemed to develop soreness in the knee, ankles, the tops of my feet, and my right big toe! (that's a new one to me!). Gladly though after a few days rest and some strategically placed ice pack sessions all appears to have returned to normal!:) So much so that I'm wondering already about which event to enter next...

    Obviously I picked up a range of comments along the way: at one end of the scale -from one spectator to her friend -"...well I'm not being funny, but why would you even want to do that? And I'm surprised they're allowed to!..."; to the other end of the scale from other runners who commented that they had utmost respect for me for being able to run without shoes...

    In conclusion -this was a good race. It is an excellent half marathon route to run barefoot...:barefoot:
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  2. bfsailor

    bfsailor Barefooters
    1. New York
    2. Pennsylvania

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    Congratulations! Well done, and a great race report too! Too bad about the rain, but it makes for an even better story! ;)
     
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  3. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Excellent report. Congrats on your first half.

    So how do you feel about running in the rain now? I absolutely loved my rain runs, especially when it poured. All those poor shoddies getting their shoes soaked and heavy stomping and sloshing around. I can see why those women said you shouldn't be allowed to run it barefoot... you had the advantage. :hilarious:

    Mirrored to the home page.
     
  4. Mr. Muchacho

    Mr. Muchacho Barefooters

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    Well done Tedlet!
     
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  5. Tedlet

    Tedlet Barefooters
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    Thanks folks..
    Actually once we got going after the start it was pretty good. The hanging around at the beginning was the worst part...
    Best bit:- having finished we got to walk across the muddy field to the exit -and you are right all the shoddies were regularly stopping to change course so as to avoid big puddles of mud, etc... whilst the 'mad barefoot man' just went wading straight through the middle...;)
     
  6. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    The BEST part!
     
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  7. Tristan

    Tristan Barefooters
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    Congrats on your first half Tedlet!
    Running in the rain is so much better barefoot! But agreed its not so nice to have to hang around waiting on the start in it.
     
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  8. trevize1138

    trevize1138 Barefooters
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    Nice work, dude! Looking fierce in that pic on the grass.

    The comments when you're unshod are part of the fun. I start to treat it like I'm a stand-up comic working on new material based on the usual comments I get. Sometimes the jokes fall flat, of course.

    And it's amazing what your body gets used to during the run that you later find out about as your legs and feet get sore. We humans are tough!

    Looking forward to your next adventure.
     
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