Tewkesbury half

Discussion in 'Front Page News' started by Tedlet, May 20, 2019.

  1. Tedlet

    Tedlet Barefooters
    1. United Kingdom

    Aug 25, 2014
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    Tewkesbury half
    By Tedlet

    By having experienced my first half marathon approximately 8 months back in the cold & pouring rain I decided to sign up for another one this Spring –hopefully giving me a much better chance of not having to do battle with the weather!

    The Tewkesbury half was the event I chose –it attracts around 1000 entrants, so it’s not massive, but at the same time is plenty large enough to get lost in the crowd…

    I’d read some reasonable reports of previous year’s races so was actually looking forward to it (I normally get a bit nervous at these kind of things –no idea why, it’s entirely unnecessary, but I just do for some reason). Persuaded my partner to run it with me, which helps (she runs in VFFs). We decided to stick together throughout the course (moral support & all that!).

    So we travelled down the day prior to the event & stayed overnight, which was definitely a good move.

    Race Day: The race didn’t start until 10.00am, so a reasonable lie in and light breakfast in the morning was the perfect start to the day. Having collected our race numbers the day before, pretty much all we had to do was turn up and run!

    And hooray! Perfect weather! Not a cloud in sight, but not too hot either.

    Race HQ was set up in a field in the village, with a 5-10 minute walk to the starting line. So around 20 mins ahead of schedule off we set with everybody else for the start. I actually quite liked the opportunity just to stroll along the High Street and relax a bit before the start. Obviously I picked up the occasional comment on the way, but all good (mostly just …ooh look he’s got no shoes on…).

    The start of the race was run through the main village street before turning off into the surrounding area. Being a nice Sunday mid-morning, lots of people had turned out to watch & support, creating a very enjoyable atmosphere for the run.
    tewk stt.jpg
    The surface was pretty good too. Although it was all roads, they were all in fairly good condition so I felt comfortable from the outset. I’m not a big speed runner so I was basically just hoping to be able to get round the route before everybody else went home! So I settled at a pace that would probably achieve somewhere around 2hrs 20m.
    tewk stt2.jpg ...can just about see the back of my head and shirt in that one -tucked in on the right hand side (starting at the back -as always!)

    For the first half of the race (circa 10k) I found I was running at a really steady rate and felt good as well. There was the odd small hill here and there, but nothing too dramatic.

    The route worked its way out of the village and through surrounding urban areas, both countryside & industrial (so a bit of a mix). The support from locals in all of the populated areas was great –lots of clapping, offers of jelly babies, oranges, that kind of thing… I hadn’t realized it before, but an enthusiastic group of spectators definitely makes a difference. It’s nice to pick up the positivity from other people’s encouragement and high five the kids on the way past.

    The second half of the race –back to the High Street where we started- seemed slightly harder for some reason. –Could’ve been because I hadn’t managed to train as much as I had wanted to before the day, or could’ve been because I had set off a little quicker than I should have. Who knows! I noticed that for some reason my pace was varying up and down quite a bit, and there were a couple of sections where the terrain threw up some challenges (nothing too bad, mostly just the odd section of loose gravel strewn on hard pavement –I got through them all ok though and probably, in reality, benefitted from being periodically forced to focus on my form again in order to pick my way through).

    At around the 18-19km mark I latched onto the pace of another runner just ahead of me and decided to try to stick with him until the finish. I figured he was in front of me so it would give me something to chase! I spent the remainder of the distance swapping places with him and finishing the last 100 metres with a friendly competitive ‘sprint’ (well perhaps an overstatement of ability there…) to the line. We thanked each other for the mutual motivation afterwards, and walked on to collect our medals & goodies, etc…

    I really enjoyed this race. The atmosphere was friendly & warming, the villages that we ran through were very picturesque, the weather was good, and I felt like I ran well (ok so my bar isn’t set that high, but heh, who cares!...).

    I did pick up quite a few comments throughout –fellow runners asking how I managed to run without footwear, inquisitiveness of reasons why, and generally positive comments all round, also the usual ‘look mummy why’s that man got no shoes on?’ from the toddlers… -unfortunately I’m never in earshot to hear the parent’s replies…

    What a great day out!
    Reckon I’ll do this one again next year…
    #1 Tedlet, May 20, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2019
  2. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
    1. Nomad

    Mar 5, 2010
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    Thank you so much for sharing! I've mirrored your report to the home page. Congrats to you!
    Tedlet likes this.
  3. trevize1138

    trevize1138 Barefooters
    1. Minnesota

    Jun 20, 2017
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    Nice work! Sounds like a really nice time.

    Also, TIL: "lie in" is apparently UK-speak for "sleep in" :)
    Barefoot TJ and Tedlet like this.
  4. Mr. Muchacho

    Mr. Muchacho Barefooters

    Mar 17, 2017
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    Well done!
    Barefoot TJ and Tedlet like this.
  5. BareFootBC

    BareFootBC Barefooters
    1. Canada

    Feb 6, 2019
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    Inspiring read, finding someone to pace yourself with sounds like a good motivational technique.

    I haven’t been in any kind of organized race since I was a kid. I sometimes contemplate it but my phobia of crowds makes it difficult to participate.
    #5 BareFootBC, May 27, 2019
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
    Tedlet likes this.

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